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Nicholas MiraculousThe Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler$
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Michael Rosenthal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231174213

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231174213.001.0001

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“Jastrow Is, I’m Sorry to Say, a Hebrew”

“Jastrow Is, I’m Sorry to Say, a Hebrew”

(p.332) Chapter Fourteen “Jastrow Is, I’m Sorry to Say, a Hebrew”
Nicholas Miraculous

Michael Rosenthal

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on Nicholas Murray Butler's anti-Semitic policies as president of Columbia University. In addition to a powerhouse, Butler liked to think of Columbia as civilization's skirmishing line, fighting the forces of ignorance and complacency while pushing courageously into the future. But at the same time as he led his faculty armies in their metaphysical battle against the powers of darkness, he found himself embroiled in a rather less-exalted struggle within the confines of New York City against a raggle-taggle foe largely unaware that it was actually involved in combat: aspiring eastern European immigrants, most of them Jews, whose sons sought admission to Columbia College. Butler's anti-Semitism was essentially consistent throughout his career. It was there when he regretted that he must inform Seth Low in 1897 that Joseph Jastrow, a distinguished psychologist being considered for an appointment to Teachers College, “is, I'm sorry to say, a Hebrew.” This chapter discusses Butler's moves to dissuade too many Jewish students from applying to Columbia, including the centralization of the admissions process.

Keywords:   admissions, Nicholas Murray Butler, Columbia University, immigrants, Jews, Columbia College, anti-Semitism, Seth Low, Joseph Jastrow, Jewish students

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