24/CHRONICLES Of CULTUREnCOMMENDABLESnPoisoned IvynReduxnby Herbert LondonnBenjamin Hart: Poisoned Ivy; Stein &nDay; New York.nFor at least four decades liberal pietiesnhave ruled the cultural roost at IynLeague colleges, a situation that WilliamnBuckley described in God andnMan at Yak. What Buckley did notndescribe — what he could not havenanticipated—is the challenge to thisnorthodoxy that has been mounted innthe 1980’s. Reagan’s Presidency hasnundoubtedly had some influence on thenclimate of opinion in academe. But thenchallenge predates his stunning electoralnvictories.nhi 1980 several students founded anlighthearted, irreverent, high-spiritednpaper called the Dartmouth Review.nFrom the beginning many Dartmouthnfaculty members and administrators iolatednall the dicta of democracy theynnormally espouse. They have systematicallynviolated the Constitution they defendnas the bulwark of their freedom.nAnd riiey have violated the traditions ofnfair play and free exchange to whichnthe) regularly give lip service.nThis story is recounted by BenjaminnHart in his book Poisoned Ivy, an oftennhilarious, sometimes sad, and usuallynprovocative examination of life at DartmouthnCollege. What he demonstratesnmost poignantly is that the halls of Ivynhae been converted from ivory towersnof .scholarship and dispassion into politicalnaction launching pads for gaynrights, women’s liberation, black militancy,nand the assorted lunacies nowninstitutionalized in the post-Vietnamnera.nBecause the Dartmouth Review attackednthe faithful, it became the targetnof the true believers. That in itself isnhardly surprising. What is shocking isnthe virulence of the reaction. WhennHart delivered the Dartmouth Reviewnto an administrative office, he was confrontednby a black middle-aged collegenofficial who attempted to push himnthrough a plate glass door. This unpro­nBOOKSHELVESnvoked assault did not result in retaliation,nhistead the ictim tried to restrainnhis attacker by using a headlock. Severalnseconds later Hart noticed that hisn”sweatshirt was soaked with blood fromna four inch wound” inflicted by a bitenon his chest. After receiving treatmentnfor the wound and a tetanus shot. Hartnfiled assault charges against his attackernand won the case.nHowever, three days after the assaultnthe Dartmouth faculty assembled andnvoted 115-5 to censure the newspapernMr. Hart was distributing, not his assailant.nDuring that curious time, freenspeech and the free press were suspendedn(to say nothing of reasonable discourse).nThe Dartmouth Review had sonoffended the sensibilities of the facultynthat it, rather than the violent behaviornit e’oked, became the target of opprobrium.nAdmittedly, the Dartmouth Reviewncan be outrageous. What offendednmost faculty members was its style; fornthe Dartmouth Review is the literarynequivalent of Animal House. However,nin these times students are usually encouragednby their faculty elders to commitnoffenses against taste. The shockncame from the fact that this challengento the status quo came from the right. Itnwas not fraternities they questioned, butnaffirmative action; it was not a policy ofnparietals they ridiculed, but black studies.nThe students took on the left establishmentnusing the style of Tuli Kupferbergnand other leftovers from thenturbulent 60’s. They gave the provocateursna taste of their own medicine. Butninstead of recognizing this effort fornwhat it was—an attempt to balancenopinion—the academics nurtured onn6Q’s rhetoric let out a cry of “dirtynpool.”nThe reaction could have been predicted.nCollege faculties have, to annextraordinary degree, been politicized.nThe student rebel of yesteryear is now antenured professor with standing in thenfaculty senate. Current political attitudesnhave had only marginal success atnour universities because the 60’s revolutionnhas put a liberal edifice solidly innplace. Where is the professor with sufficientntemerity to take on the gay studentnalliance? Where is the university presidentnwho challenges the intellectualnintegrity of women’s studies?nUndoubtedlv there has been a shift innnncollege attitudes. But it is not as pronouncednas most journalists suggest.nWhat has happened is that the left-wingngospel regularly confronts student apafliynand agnosticism. That may not be anmajor victory for those of us who wouldnlike to restore a passionate concern fornfair- and critical-mindedness to ourncolleges, but it’s nothing to sneeze at.nAfter all, we will have another fournyears of Ronald Reagan, the DartmouthnReview continues to publish,nand Benjamin Hart and his stalwartneditors are now writing books and influencingnpublic opinion. ccnHerbert London is dean of thenGallatin Division of New YorknUniversity.nAscent to WisdomnGeorge Caspar Homans: Coming tonMy Senses: The Autobiography of anSociologist, Transaction Books; NewnBrunswick, NJ.nGeorge Homans has had certain advantagesnnot ordinarily granted to a socialnscientist. His distinguished New Englandnancestry, for example, includednsuccessful physicians, lawyers, and mennof business — to say nothing of thenAdamses (his mother was the niece ofnHenry and Brooks Adams). Added tonthe solid pleasures and benefits of anbo)hood on Massachusetts Bay werenthe fruits of Homans’s student days atnHarvard. His friend and tutor was BernardnDe Voto and his teachers includednIor Richards, who was also responsiblenfor Homans’s introduction to WyndhamnLewis.nAnother strong point in the futurensociologist’s favor was the fact that henstudied no sociology as an undergraduate.nHis interests were literary, but afternlosing out in a literary rivalry withnJames Agee, he gave up his ambition tonmake a career as a poet. His commentnon this youthful decision is characteristicallynfrank:nNote the wretched competitivenessnof this young man! Note his worshipnof success! But note also, younsnuig liberals, who sneer at compe-n