When an Indian-born man I knew a couple of decades ago expressed an intense dislike for Mohandas Gandhi, I found it a bit surprising. Wasn’t the “Great Soul,” that quintessential 20th-century icon, India’s George Washington?
Recently, a friend of mine, an antiquarian book dealer, bought a box of early 19th century pamphlets at a book auction, among which was an 1828 catalogue of Dartmouth College. I had an opportunity to examine this fragile 24-page catalogue and was quite intrigued by the Course of Study students were required to take in those days.
Those of us — of Tom Brokaw’s greatest generation — who attended the public schools in the 1930s and '40s remember our classrooms as quite barren, immaculately clean, quiet and orderly. There was a portrait of George Washington on the wall, and cursive letters were on a printed strip across the top of the blackboard. That was it. No fancy posters.