Education: The Master of the Mediterranean

White-haired Fernand Braudel fingers a 13th century Florentine coin, its bronze surface green with age, as he muses on the grand passion of his life: the Mediterranean. "Everything about the Mediterranean has pleased me—the sea, the people, the food. It is a passion that burns you up. And nowadays, for me, the Mediterranean is too strong, too burning. It's all over."

But it is not yet over. Last weekend an international gathering of 150 historians and social scientists assembled at the State University of New York at Binghamton to pay homage to Braudel and his enduring love. English Scholars Peter Burke and...

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