David Frum

04.29.13

Donald Kagan on Western Civilization

Don't miss this fascinating Wall Street Journal interview with Donald Kagan, classicist and one-time dean of Yale College - now in open despair at the state of the university to which he devoted his life.

Mr. Kagan resigned the deanship in April 1992, lobbing a parting bomb at the faculty that bucked his administration. His plans to create a special Western Civilization course at Yale—funded with a $20 million gift from philanthropist and Yale alum Lee Bass, who was inspired by the 1990 lecture—blew up three years later amid a political backlash. "I still cry when I think about it," says Mr. Kagan.

As he looks at his Yale colleagues today, he says, "you can't find members of the faculty who have different opinions." I point at him. "Not anymore!" he says and laughs