Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

AN IDLE, RANDOM REMINISCENCE ON A SLOW TUESDAY

Alexander Gerschenkron was for many years a Professor of Economic History at Harvard.  I knew him because he was a member of the faculty committee that created the Social Studies undergraduate concentration, of which I served as the first Head Tutor in 1960-61.  One day, when I was meeting with him about Social Studies business, I mentioned that on a recent train trip from New York to Boston I had gone to a nearly deserted bar car for a cup of coffee and there, at the other end of the car, had been sitting none other than the immortal Ted Williams.  I thought this would puzzle Gershenkron, a deadly serious scholar with a heavy European accent.  “Oh yes,” he replied, “Ted is a good friend of mine.”


3 comments:

LFC said...

I just typed "Alexander Gerschenkron" into the JSTOR search box (for a couple of reasons, both somewhat whimsical, for lack of a better word).

The third item that came up in that search is a 6-page reminiscence of Gerschenkron as teacher (published in The American Scholar, 1992) by Donald McCloskey (now Deirdre McCloskey), who encountered Gerschenkron as an economics grad student.

I skimmed through the piece quickly and there is an entire paragraph about Gerschenkron and Ted Williams -- amusing -- a bit too cumbersome (or more precisely I don't want to bother) to reproduce here. (The paragraph is based on a story about this that D. McCloskey was told by his father, who apparently was the Harvard govt prof Robert McCloskey.)

Anyway you might find The American Scholar piece of interest if you have access to JSTOR (which I assume you do, and on the off-chance you don't I can tell you how to get such access).

LFC said...

Sorry -- guess I should have written "that D. McCloskey was told by her father" -- except that she was still "he" when The American Scholar piece was written.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

My God! I knew Robert McCloskey. I have several nice stories about my time at Harvard that involve him. It was through Bob McCloskey that I met Zbigniew Bzrezinski. It is indeed a small world.