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Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.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.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."





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Friday, August 24, 2018

LIFE'S LITTLE EPIPHANIES


A moment ago, I was watching a cable news discussion of the current political mess with the lawyer who represented Spiro Agnew during his troubles as sitting Vice-President.  The discussion called to mind one of the loveliest moments of my life. 

My first wife and I had not too long before relocated from a wretched New York semi-slum apartment that Columbia grandly allocated to me as a full professor in the Philosophy Department to a glorious Federal style three story home in Northampton, Massachusetts where we moved when my wife and I took up positions in the English and Philosophy Departments at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  I was still a rabid Mets fan, even though we were now in Red Sox territory.

My pine-paneled book lined third floor study looked out both on a back patio and also on Barrett Place, a lovely dead end street in the Smith College area of Northampton.  I had a tiny portable TV set with rabbit ears that I brought up to my study so that I could keep track of the Mets’ battle for the National League championship.

It was there that I sat on October 10th, the sun streaming in the windows on a crisp fall day, working on my next lecture, watching the Mets win the final game of the National League playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds and listening to the spot announcements of Spiro Agnew’s resignation.

Life does not get much better than that.

5 comments:

MS said...

Spiro Agnew - the poet laureate of the Nixon administration: "nabobs of negativism"

jeffrey kessen said...

Follow-up to a previous comment. Just a slight clarification. I've recently taken up Facebook, for lack of anything better to do. The comment about book thievery was from my own page, from about a month ago. I did not, however, "recently" stumble upon your blog---I've been a faithful reader for years (compliments to Leiter Reports). "Recently" was just a bit of rhetorical license. What is not a bit of rhetorical license is this: Your book was later cravenly stolen from me by a crack-head! Go figure. I wonder where it reposes currently.

David Palmeter said...

In 1966, when Spiro Agnew ran for governor of Maryland, his opponent was George Mahoney, a conservative, Southern-style Democrat. Fair housing laws were an issue at the time, and Mahoney was firmly against them. He campaign stops were high-lighted by his singing his campaign song to the tune of the Bells of St. Mary’s--“Your home is your castle, defend it, defend it!” There wasn’t a progressive in Maryland, DC, or Northern Virginia who wasn’t greatly relieved when Agnew won.

David Auerbach said...

@MS William Safire was the speech writer (and later pseudo language-maven pundit at NYTimes) who composed "nattering nabobs..." and much else.

jeffrey kessen said...

Man, I always thought it was Pat Buchanan who coined, "nattering nabobs of negativism".