Education: Next, Project 87

Nine-year study focuses on the Constitution's Bicentennial

To Richard Morris, 73, a professor emeritus of history at Columbia, America's razzle-dazzle Bicentennial celebration was a disgrace. "We ended up with a lot of gimmickry, pageantry and tall ships—nothing to do with why the American Revolution was unique," charges Morris. His colleague, James MacGregor Burns, 59, a political scientist at Williams, enjoyed the display—"I rather liked the ships in New York harbor" —but agrees that the Revolution's deeper significance was insufficiently heralded.

The two professors, former presidents of the American Historical Association (Morris) and the American Political Science Association (Burns), decided to redress the historical...

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