Education: Assignment: Oxford

With military precision and the help of expanded studies in the humanities, U.S. service academies this year plucked a prize bag of Rhodes scholarships. The impetus: a sharp new drive at West Point and the Air Academy* to plunge bright graduates into the heady whirl of Britain's ancient Oxford University. The Air Academy won its first scholarship, and there were a record five for West Pointt (matched only by Harvard). Recalls one awed civilian competitor, who stepped into the exam ring with them: "They looked like tall glasses of cold milk."

Last week the...

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