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MORE THAN THE COST OF HARVARD, IT IS THE RISING TUITION AT STATE SCHOOLS THAT SUBVERTS THE DEMOCRATIC IDEAL

One hundred and three years ago, the historian Frederick Jackson Turner made his famous elegiac announcement that America no longer had a frontier. Turner was interested in the frontier less as a place than as a sociological phenomenon. "The West was another name for opportunity," he wrote; to his mind it had been the means by which the nation delivered on its promise of a chance of advancement for all citizens. It was the possible loss of this, not of open range, that worried him.

What is not so well known about Turner is what he thought the replacement for the...

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