The Corner

Of Columbia, Yale, and Maturity

Columbia has its free speech relativism, Princeton its diverted donor money, and Dartmouth its attempted autogolpe.  I just came back from a War on Terrorism panel at Yale with colleagues Fred Kagan, Vance Serchuk, and former colleagues Roman Martinez and Mary Habeck—Lots of tough questions, real world answers, and contentious debate, but no rotten tomatoes, interruptions, or sloganeering.  Much of Yale’s faculty might be drifting away from scholarship and into silliness—Yale replaced its retired diplomatic historian Gaddis Smith with a historian of film, for example—but John Gaddis, Charlie Hill, and Paul Kennedy have made their “Grand Strategy” program into an oasis of traditional, real-world study, and broad, interdisciplinary perspective.  I hope the program survives.  With the purge of diverse thought almost complete within American academe, there is so little to be optimistic about these days inside the academy.  Now, if only they could do something about New Haven.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.