Splendor of Heart: Walter Jackson Bate and the Teaching of Literature (Hardcover)
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In The Education of Henry Adams, Adams presciently observed that A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Walter Jackson Bate, the legendary Harvard professor, was far more than a celebrated and decorated biographer; he was an inspired teacher. And books about great teachers are rare. Here Robert Richardson, himself a distinguished teacher and biographer, takes the reader back to the Harvard of the fifties when men like Bate could hold a classroom of undergraduates enthralled by making literature seem achingly human, and real, and important, a task that involved not only exploring the work but the authors themselves their lives, their hopes and their failures. Above all, Bate instilled in his students the heterodox notion that learning itself means nothing unless it leads to action, that simply understanding the text is a dead end unless the words affect and change behavior.