The Harvard Book: Selections from Three Centuries / Edition 2

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If Harvard can be said to have a literature all its own, then few universities can equal it in scope. Here lies the reason for this anthology--a collection of what Harvard men (teachers, students, graduates) have written about Harvard in the more than three centuries of its history. The emphasis is upon entertainment, upon readability; and the selections have been arranged to show something of the many variations of Harvard life.

For all Harvard men--and that part of the general public which is interested in American college life--here is a rich treasury. In such a Harvard collection one may expect to find the giants of Harvard's last 75 years, Eliot, Lowell, and Conant, attempting a definition of what Harvard means. But there are many other familiar names - Henry Dunster, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Henry Adams, Charles M. Flandrau, William and Henry James, Owen Wister, Thomas Wolfe, John P. Marquaud. Here is Mistress Eaton's confession about the bad fish served to the wretched students of Harvard's early years; here too is President Holyoke's account of the burning of Harvard Hall; a student's description of his trip to Portsmouth with that aged and Johnsonian character, Tutor Henry Flynt; Cleveland Amory's retelling of the murder of Dr. George Parkman; Mayor Quiney's story of what happened in Cambridge when Andrew Jackson came to get an honorary degree; Alistair Cooke's commentary on the great Harvard-Yale cricket match of 1951. There are many sorts of Harvard men in this book--popular fellows like Hammersmith, snobs like Bertie and Billy, the sensitive and the lonely like Edwin Arlington Robinson and Thomas Wolfe, and independent thinkers like John Reed. Teachers and pupils, scholars and sports, heroes and rogues pass across the Harvard stage through the struggles and the tragedies to the moments of triumph like the Bicentennial or the visit of Winston Churchill.

And speaking of visits, there are the visitors too--the first impressions of Harvard set down by an assortment of travelers as various as Dickens, Trollope, Rupert Brooke, Harriet Martineau, and Francisco de Miranda, the "precursor of Latin American independence."

For the Harvard addict this volume is indispensable. For the general reader it is the sort of book that goes with a good living-room fire or the blissful moments of early to bed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674373013
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/1982
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 525,281
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

William Bentinck-Smith was appointed Editor of the Harvard Alumni Bulletinin 1946 and completed a three-year term as Director for Magazines of the American Alumni Council.
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Table of Contents


1. Anonymous: In Respect of the College (1643)

2. Samuel Eliot Morison: John Havard and the Note of Freedom (1636-1936)

3. William James: The True Harvard (1908)

4. Walter Prichard Eaton: Here's to the Harvard Accent! (1936)

5. David McCord: The Lights Come On (1941)

6. Donald Moffat: One View of Harvard (1948)

7. Three Presidents: Toward a Definition of Harvard (1869-1950)


8. Henry Dunster: Considerations (1654)

9. Cotton Mather: Havard from Roar to Mather (1702)

10. Clifford K. Shipton: The Nephew of Uncle Experience (c.1780)

11.David Sewall: Father Flynt's Journey to Portmouth (1754)

10. Andrew Preston Peabody: Old Pop (c. 1830)

11. Presidential Tact: Four Letters from Four Letters from Four Presidents (1829-1862)

12. Thomas Hill: A Collecting Trip With Louis Agassiz

13. John T. Wheelwright and Frederic J. Stimson: How Rollo Came to be Examined(1880)

14.George Santayana: The Harvard Yard (1882-1912)

15. Richard C. Evarts: Eamination for Alice (1913)

16.Charles Loring Jackson: The Sophocles Myth (1923)

17. Theodore Pearson: President Lowell Builds His Harvard(1925)

18. Rollo Walter Brown: The Old Dean (1932)

19. Arthur Calvert Smith: To Copeland at Eighty, by a Life Long Pupil (1940)

20.Jacob Loewenberg : Emerson Hall Revisted (1948)


21. Mistress Eaton:I Own the Shame and Confess My Sin (1639)

22. Edward Holyoke: The Burning of Harvard Hall (1764)

23. Samuel Chandler: A College Tragedy (1773)

24. Eliphalet Pearson: Journal of Disorders (1778)

25. Augustus Peirce: Overture to the Riot (1818)

26. Cleveland Amory: Dr. Parkman Takes a Walk (1849)

27. Ellery Sedgwick: Jane Toppan's Case (1892)


28. Keep Thou the College Laws: A Series of Excerpts (1655-1790)

29. Thomas Shepard, Jr.: "That Precious Time You Now Misspend" (1672)

30. Richard Waldron: A Freshman Guide (1735)

31. Frederic West Holland: A Freshman Hazing (1827)

32. Oliver Wendell Holmes: Of Cambridge and Female Society (1828-1830

33. James Woodbury Boyden: Examined for Entrance (1838)

34. Thomas Hill: There is Nothing but Mischief in their Heads (1839)

35. William Tucker Washburn: A Meeting of the Med. Fac. (c.1858)

36. Robert Nathan: Peter Kindred's First Days (1919)


37. Jacob Rhett Motto: A Southern Sport At Harvard (1831)

38. Charles W. Eliot: What a Day for Our Race! (1858)

39. Mark Sibley Severance: The Contest on the Delta (c.1855)

40.Owen Wister: The Search for the Bird—In—Hand (1903)

41. John Dos Passos: Adventure at Norumbega (1923)

42. Lucius Beebe: Notes on a Dry Generation (1927

43. George Weller: Eleven O'Clock in November (1933)

44. Alistair Cooke: A Lesson For Yale (1951)


45. Henry Adams: The Education of a Harvard Man (1856 and 1918)

46. W. E. Burghardt Du Bois: That Outer Whiter World of Harvard (c.1890)

47. Edwin Arlington Robinson: Beginning to Feel at Home (1891)

48. Charles Macomb Flandrau: A Dead Issue (1897)

49. Lee Sirnonson : My College Life was an Inner One (c.1908)

50. John Reed:"College is Like the World" (c 1910)

51. Thomas Wolfe: Eugene Gant's Harvard (c.1923)


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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2002

    Easy To Praise

    THE HARVARD BOOK is awarded by the Harvard Alumni Association to high school juniors who combine excellence in scholarship with achievement in other fields. The book contains more than one hundred short articles about Harvard experiences by a wide assortment of contributors - many of whom are famous writers. The essays cover almost the entire period of Harvard's existence from 1636. Some of my favorites are by Samuel Eliot Morison, William James, John P. Marquand, David McCord, John Reed, John Updike and David Halberstam. You will undoubtedly find many others. The book is easy to enjoy and praise. The quality of the writing is very high.

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