By Stanley Crouch
As a cultural and political commentator, Stanley Crouch in unapologetically contentious and delightfully iconoclastic. even if he's writing at the strong point of the yankee South, the demise of Tupak Shakur, the O.J. Simpson verdict, or the wear and tear performed through the Oklahoma urban bombing, Crouch's high-velocity trade with American tradition is carried out with scrupulous allegiance to the reality, even if it hurts--and it always does. And near to jazz--from Sidney Bechet to Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington to Miles Davis--there is not any yet another articulate, impassioned, and encyclopedic in his wisdom than Stanley Crouch.
Crouch techniques every thing in his direction with head-on power, stressed intelligence, and a fresh religion within the collective scan that's America--and he does so in a virtuosic prose sort that's by no means below exciting.
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Additional resources for Always in Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives
This tendency was particularly characteristic of the nation’s older colleges and universities, which scrambled to incorporate administrative and pedagogical reforms into preexisting— and often intractable—institutional forms. Harvard faced similar pressures during the decades spanning the two world wars. My purpose in this chapter is to assess the origins and results of this institutional fragmentation. I shall focus on the emergence at Harvard of what I have termed the interstitial academy. A product of centrifugal forces operating on America’s universities, Harvard’s interstitial academy provided practitioners of nascent research programs with enclaves in which to exchange ideas and conduct inquiries outside of established departments and curricula.
56 Harvard, meanwhile, was caught flatfooted by the infusion of German principles of academic freedom and pure research. When a quartet of notable scholars arrived at Harvard between 1819 and 1822 after advanced studies in Europe, they found themselves stymied in their attempt to introduce the new academic ethos in Cambridge. 57 If these details suggest the outlines of the pioneer paradigm—with Charles William Eliot waiting in the wings to realize ambitions thwarted in the 1820s—the already intricate connections between Harvard Yard and State Street in Boston point toward a more complex narrative of Harvard’s transformation.
The principal vehicles for the Harvard faculty’s and student body’s repeated engagements with scientific philosophy were a cluster of clubs, societies, seminars, and inchoate disciplinary ventures in the human sciences. The Royce Club, the Pareto circle, the Society of Fellows, Alfred North Whitehead’s Cambridge salon, the Science of Science Discussion Group, the Inter-Science Discussion Group, the Institute for the Unity of Science in Boston, the Department of Social Relations, the General Education program of James Bryant Conant—these were some of the extradisciplinary, preprofessional, or avocational academic structures that did 24 Wor k i ng K now l e d g e most to promote the culture of scientific philosophy.
Always in Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives by Stanley Crouch