Thursday, October 03, 2019

A loving portrait …

… Remembering Edward Shils - Commentary. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Early in his adult life, while living in Chicago, Edward went to work on a project led by Louis Wirth, a well-established University of Chicago social scientist. Wirth arranged a job for him in the then famous sociology department at the University of Chicago, and there he stayed. The University of Chicago became the center of Edward’s intellectual life. He spent roughly eight of every 12 months there, the other four usually in England. His own attitude toward the school was mixed. As Churchill viewed democracy as the best of all poor forms of government, so Edward viewed Chicago as the best of all deeply flawed American universities. He pretended not to understand why people would depart it to go off to Harvard, Yale, Princeton. He of course knew they were drawn there by the magnet of Ivy League snobbery.

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