Education: The Great Paper Chase

Among the consuming interests of Britain's Isaac Foot were politics, Methodism, temperance and his eminent sons.* But none of these could compare with books.

The onetime leader of Britain's Liberal Party bought an average of three or four books every day of his life. He once went off on a sea voyage with seven suitcases full of books—and came back with 21.

Books jammed his 20-room Cornwall house from attic to basement. When his wife developed bibliophobia, he diverted the delivery of books to his stable and sneaked them into the house when she was out. Even when he gave books away,...

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