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Newhall and Williams College: Selected Papers of a History Teacher at a New England College, 1917-1973

Russell H. Bostert

Richard A. Newhall's life seemed unremarkable. He earned a Ph. D. in history at Harvard. He went to war in 1917. He taught at the same institution, Williams College, for thirty-two years, observed it closely for almost half a century. In a New England village his daily route became part of an academic routine - classroom, library, office, home.
But after his death in 1973 the papers he left revealed a remarkable inner life. Newhall had decided views - on war, on the liberal arts in higher education, on teaching and scholarship, academicians, public affairs. From 1917 to 1973 he expressed his views, usually in private letters. In the process he drew a portrait of a special kind of teacher, and college. This book pays tribute to that teacher, to the profession of teaching, and to the college where they flourished.

«This is the compelling story of a very special teacher who shared fully in the life - the quiet crises, the intellectual choices, the leadership decisions - of a small college. Severely wounded in World War I, he survived to share, during his seven decades in the twentieth century, the intellectual and political life of that century, at the same time managing to keep a historian's critical distance from it. We see the history of those decades unrolled before us through the knowing, skeptical eyes of a historian who made his ultimate engagement with his college and with his students.» (James MacGregor Burns, Williams '39, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government, Emeritus, Williams College)