Essay: The Odd Pursuit of Teaching Books

Douglas Bush died on March 2 at the age of 86, after 46 years as professor of English literature at Harvard and a life of devotion to Paradise Lost. The obituary in the New York Times made him out a gentle crank, quoting a complaint of Bush's that too many students attend universities these days, and thus cannot be adequately educated—the sort of hackneyed wail that Bush himself would never have dwelt on or even considered right plucked from a greater, kindlier context. Bush's world was the greater, kindlier context. Like Samuel Johnson...

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