The Brandeis Politics department has had a mysterious failed link on their webpage for years. It’s a history of Brandeis by Professor David Hackett Fischer, called “The Brandeis Idea: Variations on a Theme”.

Carrie Simmons from the Office of Communications helped us out and dug out a copy. Take a look at this Innermost Parts exclusive.

Download it here:BrandeisIdeaVariationsOnATheme

I’m reading it now – did anyone find something particularly insightful or interesting it? Wanna share?

Updated Notes:
This is an interesting and thought-provoking piece.
– The discussion on the difference between American and European universities is really interesting.
– According to the professor, Brandeis was founded by two groups of Jews. One, Jewish businessmen mostly, wanted a small liberal arts school with no graduate programs and excellent education, like a Jewish Swarthmore. The Jewish European scholar-intellectuals (like Herbert Marcuse) wanted a “European university in America”. Brandeis today is a compromise between those two schools.
– Football at Brandeis: the businessmen wanted a really strong football team, the intellectuals despised it.
– Sports at Brandeis moved from strong spectator sports to weak sports to lots of participatory (aka club as opposed to spectator) sports. I wish we kept this emphasis on participatory sports…

One comment on “Unearthed Arcana”

  1. Leigh Says:

    This may be the southerner in me and it may have to do with the way I grew up, but sometimes I do wish we had a football team. Back home, people have parties and tailgate before the game, it’s a good source of camraderie and a way to have a good time. I’m not saying we should go in the the other direction, but one thing that diappoints me about Brandeis is the lack of school unity and spirit. Sure you see people wearing Brandeis sweatshirts, but we really didn’t drop what we were doing during March Madness to root on the Judges.

    Of course, it may also be that this is just a different culture up here than in Virginia. I always used to joke that I was Brandeis’s resident redneck because I followed ACC and SEC football among many other things…but hey, at least I don’t watch NASCAR!