Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Liberal Arts and Higher Education: Conversation with James O. Freedman, President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 4/18/01 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation With History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is James O. Freedman, who is the President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 1987 to 2000, he was President of Dartmouth College and from 1982 to 1987, the President of the University of Iowa. He is visiting the uc Berkeley campus this semester as the 2001 Jefferson Lecturer. His publications include Crises and Legitimacy: The Administrative Process and American Government and Idealism and Liberal Education.

  1. Background ... the theme of a life ... influence of parents ... Jewish identity ... Justices Brandeis and Frankfurter
  2. Books and Writers ... collecting ... favorite writers ... what books do for us ... the power of words ... law school and the importance of words
  3. Teachers, Mentors, and Heroes ... Alexander Bickel ... Thurgood Marshall ... Martin Luther King, Jr. ... Hugo Black ... Eudora Welty
  4. Liberal Arts ... value of knowing yourself ... building a private self and a public self ... learning to think ... value of knowing you don't know
  5. Leadership and the University ... communicating a vision ... political reality ... bringing a vision to Dartmouth ... Presidential Scholars program ... public versus private universities ... requirements for leadership ... affirmative action ... liberal arts versus specialization ... vision of liberal arts initiative ... implications of technology
  6. Confronting Life's Challenges ... "why me?" ... Camus
  7. Lessons Learned ... late bloomers

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