Rule Number One

The rules of indexing,  not counting those that are the responsibility of basic education, are few.   The most useful are grounded in common sense and should therefore be self-evident.  Among these the most important is the one I usually formulate as: Index the idea, not the word. Authors present their views in terms of concepts–ideas […]

Morningside II: Five Great Teachers

Moving uptown from NYU’s Washington Square College in Greenwich Village to Morningside Heights and Columbia was more a matter of cultural than geographical relocation. NYU turned out to be the right place to sort out, debate, and eventually establish one’s lifelong political and philosophical leanings. This process occurred mainly in the school cafeteria, known as […]

Morningside: Some Very Odd Dust

Soon after I was admitted to the graduate school at Columbia, I rented a small room in the sixth floor apartment of Alexander Miner on West 116th Street near Riverside Drive. Mr. Miner was a tall sixtyish German refugee who went off with his wife each morning to run their baby stroller company. My room […]

Great Teachers: Reinhold Niebuhr

While studying at NYU in the postwar years it occurred to me that what I needed was some actual education. To that end I dropped in at the New School for Social Research on 12th Street, took home a copy of the school catalog and circled many of its alluring course titles. One of the […]