Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Earning my C-

Never having taken a course from Harvey Mansfield while a student at Harvard, I infer that I would have gotten a C-minus on my posts about the Harvard faculty's outrage over Larry Summers and his remarks, "Brutality in Harvard Yard" and "Summers Transcript." In his Weekly Standard column, "Fear and Intimidation at Harvard," Mansfield earns an A. He very succinctly gets to the point about why the Harvard faculty is having such a tough time adjusting to his leadership (and why we both think that Summers is the right person to be Harvard's president):
More than most people--to say nothing of university presidents--Summers lives by straightforward argument. He doesn't care whether he convinces you or you convince him. He isn't looking for victory in argument. But his forceful intelligence often produces it, in the view of those with whom he reasons. Sometimes the professors he speaks with come out feeling that they are victims of "bullying," as one of his feminist critics stated. As if to reason were to bully.

Very well said.

The rest of the article is Mansfield's critique of feminists in the academy. I defer to Betsy Newmark's analysis.

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