Education: Demise of the Center

For the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, no subject has been too cosmic, no issue too complex. In the past 16 years, the center has boldly sought to "clarify the basic issues and widen the circle of discussion about them." An offshoot of the Fund for the Republic, an organization dedicated to defending civil liberties, the center was organized by Robert Hutchins, iconoclastic former president of the University of Chicago. Amidst the seaside splendor of a 43-acre Mediterranean-style estate in Santa Barbara, Calif., the center's scholars pursued Hutchins' formidable goal. An average of three mornings a week, the chimes...

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