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Stringfellow Barr (b. January 15, 1897, Suffolkmarker, Virginiamarker - February 3, 1982, Alexandriamarker, Virginiamarker) was an historian, author, and former president of St. John's College in Annapolismarker, Marylandmarker, where he, together with Scott Buchanan, instituted the Great Books curriculum.

Barr was the editor of Virginia Quarterly Reviewmarker from 1931-1937. He established and was president of the Foundation for World Government from 1948 to 1958. In the 1950s he taught classics at Rutgers Collegemarker in Newarkmarker, New Jerseymarker. Two of his books, The Will of Zeus and The Mask of Jove deal with the Greeks and Romans, respectively. His nickname was "Winkie" .

In a 1951 New York Post column, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. mocked Barr as belonging to the "solve-the-Russian-problem-by-giving-them-money school," and said, of him and two others, "None of these gentlemen is a Communist, but none of them objects very much to Communism. They are the Typhoid Marys of the left, bearing the germs of the infection even if not suffering obviously from the disease."

In 1958, Barr said (ironically):
Many observers here and abroad note a kind of higher illiteracy in our college graduates. But we like it that way. In our cars we like horsepower; in our studies we like slow-motion and low-gear. In education the intellectually second-rate does not shock us. To insist on the first-rate would be arrogant. Anyhow, if we are so second-rate, how come we are the richest nation in recorded history and the fattest people on earth?
In 1959, Barr was one of a number of signatories to a petition asking the U. S. Congress to abolish the House Committee on Unamerican Activities. Other notable signatories included Eleanor Roosevelt and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Barr was a multidimensional person who wrote The Kitchen Garden Book (New York: Viking Press, 1956) with Stella Standard. The Kitchen Garden is a manual on growing and cooking common vegetables.

New York Times reviewer Edmund Fuller called his 1958 novel, Purely Academic, "bitterly hilarious," "sadistically satirical," and "funny and appalling."

Notes

  1. " Colonist", Time Magazine, August 19, 1946.
  2. Navasky, Victor, 1980; Naming Names; p. 54 of the 2003 reprint by Hill and Wang; ISBN 0-8090-0183-7


References

  1. Barr, Stringfellow. American National Biography. 2:222-224 (1999)
  2. Edward Fuller, "In the Groves of Academe Without a Compass," The New York Times January 5, 1958, p. BR4


See also




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