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Feb 21, 2006 8:52 pm


Additionally Noted



Daniel Golden and Zachary M. Seward,"Summers to Quit Harvard Presidency," Wall Street Journal, 21 February, A-3:
Lawrence H. Summers, losing a power struggle with faculty after a turbulent five years as president of Harvard University, is expected to resign this week.
Two people familiar with the situation said last night that the former U.S. Treasury secretary is expected to announce his resignation in advance of a faculty vote a week from today on a motion of no confidence in his leadership. It's unclear what plan Harvard may have for naming a successor or when Mr. Summers's resignation will take effect.

Since last March, according to History Department chairman Andrew Gordon, at least 10 of his department colleagues have met with members of the Harvard Corporation about Summers' leadership of the university. See also: Harvard Crimson and New York Times. Thanks to Cambridge Common for the tip.

Several days ago, the Elfin Ethicist resolved"If I ever assign true/false questions to my students, I hope I may die the death of a thousand tiny paper cuts." In comments there, Brandon Watson of Siris gave an example of a true/false quiz that he'd given his students. I've rarely seen anything quite so brutal."Meep," says EE. I say it's prima facie evidence that Brandon Watson is evil. Seriously, though, I'm sure that it was a fair and rigorous test of what his students were supposed to have learned. Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig,"No Computer Left Behind," CHE, 24 February, is a good short history of testing and an argument about the accuracy of information on the web and its implications for the future of testing. Thanks to Jeremy Boggs at ClioWeb for the tip.

At Crooked Timber, Kieran Healy recommends Martin Rudwick's new book, Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution. It explores how the enlightenment settled the issue of the antiquity of the earth two hundred years ago.

Roger Cohen,"U.S.-German Flare-Up over Vast Nazi Camp Archives," New York Times, 20 February. The United States continues to press for the opening of one of the world's largest sealed archives. On the other hand, Scott Shane,"U.S. Reclassifies Many Documents in Secret Review," New York Times, 21 February, reports on a secret reclassification program by the C.I.A. and other agencies. Since 1999, over 55,000 previously declassified documents have been reclassified. Copies of some of the documents have been in private hands for years and others have even been published in the State Department's series"Foreign Relations of the United States." One of my colleagues suggests that all historians who are thus technically in violation of the Espionage Act turn themselves in immediately.

Congratulations to E. L. Doctorow, whose novel, The March, has won the Pen/Faulkner Award for 2006.

Finally, in case you missed Siva Vaidhyanathan's appearance on the Jon Stewart Show to talk about MySpace and virtual communities last week, here it is.

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