Brown (Hardcover)

The History of an Idea

By Ted Widmer

Thames & Hudson, 9780500252161, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Over the last two and a half centuries, the university and its graduates have played a notable role in numerous defining moments in the American story, from the legacy of slavery (one of the founding Brown brothers was a leading abolitionist, the other an "ardent defender and slave trader"), to the Industrial Revolution and education reform. Although there are plenty of prominent names--among them Horace Mann, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Janet Yellen, and Edwidge Danticat--woven throughout, Widmer's is a more ambitious account that weaves its threads into a variegated history of how a university can both mirror and spur the wider culture around it.