FIRE co-founder Harvey Silverglate has written an article in the Boston Phoenix on the controversy at Harvard involving Larry Summers. While I am undeniably biased (Harvey is one of my heroes), I consider this the best, most intelligent and most informed article on the topic so far. The saddest aspect of the controversy is that Summers had an opportunity to turn it into a lesson on how open discourse and free inquiry should work. Instead, Summers’s retreat has transformed this incident into an cautionary tale about the risks of opening your mouth on controversial subjects on the modern college campus. After all, if the bold and iconoclastic Summers can’t weather the storm of controversy that arises when tackling tough issues, who can?
Schools: Harvard University