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Most Excellent Books Program

In response to:

UnRoman Activities from the May 18, 1967 issue

To the Editors:

In his review of Stringfellow Barr’s book. The Mask of Jove [NYR, May 18], I noted that Mr. M. I. Finley called attention to the fact that Mr. Barr presided for ten years over St. John’s College, Annapolis “where the curriculum consisted of a close reading of the Great Books.”

There are two errors of fact in his statement. The St. John’s Program both formerly and at present consists of four years of close reading of the most excellent books coupled with four years of language studies, four years of mathematical studies, four years of scientific studies. One year of musical studies have been added in recent years. A very active younger generation is engaged in these studies and tests its opinions, if not its historical craft, against the thought and art of certain great texts, complementing these encounters with close work and analysis in language, science, mathematics, and music.

Douglas Allanbrook

St. John’s College

Annapolis

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