Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Monday, March 5, 2007

'Robert Maynard Hutchins: A Memoir' by Milton Mayer

The full text has been posted online by eScholarship Editions of the California Digital Library.

(via Apocaloopsis)


  1. It's nice to see this account of Robert Hutchins, whose contributions to the Great Books program are so great, although I note his biographer, Milton Mayer, is no stranger to controversy. See

    Nor could I help but wonder what Mayer and his fellow Chicagoan, of approximately the same vintage and literary fame, William L. Shirer, might have said in discussion of WWII. It seems the two had so much in common, yet such different views on this seminal event in the last century. One has to wonder if Mayer viewed it, up close and personal, as did Shirer.

    Mike Murphy/Toronto

  2. Here's a link that provides background on Hutchins and U of C, with many comments from former (now famous) students.

  3. The Mayer book is my favorite of the Hutchins bios. Absorbing throughout; love the wit.

    Re Mayer on WWII, have you read his 'They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45'? I haven't, but want to.

  4. >The Mayer book is my favorite of the Hutchins bios.

    Have you read them all?

    Unseasonable Truths: The life of Robert Maynard Hutchins
    by Harry S. Ashmore
    Little, Brown and Company
    LB875.H9753A84 (1989)

    Robert Maynard Hutchins: A Memoir
    by Milton Mayer
    University of California Press
    ISBN 0-520-07091-7 (1993)

    Robert M. Hutchins: Portrait of an Educator
    by Mary Ann Dzuback
    University of Chicago Press
    ISBN 0-226-17710-6 (1991)

    Hutchins' University: A Memoir of the University of Chicago
    by William Hardy McNeill
    University of Chicago Press
    ISBN 0-226-56170-4 (1991)

  5. >Have you read them all?

    I've read the ones you cite, plus Frank Kelly's 'Court of Reason: Robert Hutchins and the Fund for the Republic.'

    The Ashmore one is my second favorite after Mayer.

    Mark Brawner

  6. Ashmore's is more thorough, but Mayer's is more fun!