ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Milton Mayer (1906-1986); educator, journalist, editor, author; native of Chicago, educated in its public schools and precincts, and at the University of Chicago. He was a writer for the Associated Press, Chicago Post , and Chicago American . For such periodicals as Harper's, Forum, Saturday Evening Post, Commonweal, Reporter, Christian Century, The Progressive , he wrote probing essays on education, religion, and public affairs. In politics he was independent; in religion a Jewish member of the Society of Friends (Quakers).
At the University of Chicago he was aide to the president; moderator for Chicago's Round-Table of the Air ; tutor for the Committee on Social Thought; and assistant professor of classics. He became academic director for the Great Books Foundation; a contributing editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica, Negro Digest , and The Progressive . He lectured abroad for the American Friends Service Committee; directed "Voices of Europe," for Educational Broadcasters, Ford Foundation; and served as consultant to the National Institute of Public Affairs, the Christian Peace Conference, the Council on International Education, and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.
He held visiting professorships at William Penn, Western Reserve, the universities of Frankfurt and Paris, the Comenius Theological Faculty (Prague), and the Max Planck Institute (Germany). He was professor of English at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); held similar posts at Hampshire and Windham colleges; was Regents Lecturer, University of California; and Bingham Professor of Humanities, University of Louisville.
His many books, monographs, essays (often controversial) explore moral and social issues in a style of zestful hyperbole tempered with irony,
insight, and uncommon wit. Pastor Martin Niemöller called him "an eminent and remarkable analyst of enduring influence."
His honors included the George Polk and Benjamin Franklin prizes for writing; the Ralph Atkinson Award (ACLU); Communicator of the Year (University of Chicago); National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship; Litt. D., Windham College. Selections from his writing have appeared in foreign translation, and in various collections of best articles.
His association with Robert Maynard Hutchins extended over many years: from early days at Chicago, to their involvement with Great Books, adult education, and the Britannica, to the Ford Foundation, down to final years at the Center in Santa Barbara. Differing much, they shared much. Their friendship was rare for its mutual wit, candor, and understanding.