Nicholas Miraculous

The Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler

Michael Rosenthal. Foreword by Patricia O’Toole

Columbia University Press

Nicholas Miraculous

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Pub Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780231174213

544 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£24.00

Pub Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780231539524

544 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.00

Nicholas Miraculous

The Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler

Michael Rosenthal. Foreword by Patricia O’Toole

Columbia University Press

To those who loved him, like Teddy Roosevelt, he was "Nicholas Miraculous," the fabled educator who had a hand in everything; to those who did not, like Upton Sinclair, he was "the intellectual leader of the American plutocracy," a champion of "false and cruel ideals." Ezra Pound branded him "one of the more loathsome figures" of the age. Whether celebrated or despised, Nicholas Murray Butler (1862–1947) was undeniably an irresistible force who helped shape American history.

With wit and irony, Michael Rosenthal traces Butler's rise to prominence as president of Columbia University, which he presided over for forty-four years and developed into one of the world's most distinguished institutions of research and teaching. Butler also won the Nobel Peace Prize and headed both the Carnegie Endowment and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among innumerable other organizations. In 1920, he sought the Republican nomination for president, managing to garner more votes on the first ballot than the eventual winner, Warren Harding. Rosenthal's richly detailed, elegantly crafted narrative captures the mania and genius that propelled Butler to these extraordinary achievements and more. Thick with social, cultural, and political history, Nicholas Miraculous recreates Butler's prodigious career and the dynamic age that nourished him.
Foreword, by Patricia O'Toole
Introduction: The Sage
Flying the Union Jack
"An Indubitable Genius"
A University Is Born
Educator
The Twelfth President
"Great Personalities Make Great Universities"
An Old Shoe
Teddy Roosevelt and a Horse Called Nicoletta
"Dear Tessie"
"Mr. Butler's Asylum"
At Home—and Away
"Pick Nick for a Picnic in November"
"Kid" Butler, the Columbia Catamount, vs. "Wild Bill" Borah, the Boise Bearcat
"Jastrow Is, I'm Sorry to Say, a Hebrew"
The Path to Peace
Perils of Bolshevism, Promises of Fascism
The Fund-raiser
"Morningside's Miracle"
Resignation, Retirements, and Death
Epilogue: The Disappearance
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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About the Author

Michael Rosenthal was associate dean of Columbia College for seventeen years, later becoming, as a member of the English Department, the first holder of the Roberta and William Campbell Professorship of the Humanities at Columbia University. His books include Virginia Woolf and The Character Factory: Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts and the Imperatives of Empire.