An interesting vintage tome titled, “I love books;: Why, what, how, and when we should read,” by John Snider, was first published in 1942, and by the time my copy was published in 1948, it had been through eight reprints. Within its pages I found this quote:
” Out of the curricula of American colleges a dynamic movement is upheaving ancient foundation and promising a way for revolutionary thought and life. Those who are not in close touch with the colleges of the country will be astonished to learn the creeds being fostered by the faculties of our great universities. In hundreds of class rooms it is being taught daily that the decalogue is no more sacred than a syllabus; that the home as an institution is doomed; that there are no absolute evils; that immorality is simply an act in contravention of society’s standards; that democracy is a failure and the Declaration of Independence only spectacular rhetoric; that the change from one religion to another is like getting a new hat; that moral
precepts are passing shibboleths; that conceptions of right and wrong are as unstable as styles of dress; that wide stairways are open between social levels, but that to the climber children are incumbrances ; that the sole effect of prolificacy is to fill tiny graves, and that there can be and are holier alliances without the marriage bond than within it. …These are some of the revolutionary and sensational teachings submitted with academic warrant to the minds of hundreds of thousands of students in the United States. It is time that the public realized what is being taught to the youth of this country.”
Mr. Snider gave no source for the quote, apparently he felt it was well enough known to need none. Naturally, I googled, and I found the quote repeated in a book called “Bolshevism: Its Cure,” online as an etext, with this chronological point of reference and commentary on the state of affairs:
The nine years since the time when Mr. Bolce passed several weeks in attendance at the lectures in one after another of more than one hundred universities and col leges have gradually raised the wind to the threatening violence of the whirlwind.
This book is by David Goldstein and Martha Moore Avery, and was published in 1919.
A magazine called The Herald of Gospel Liberty, in the August, 1909 number, contains an article with the same quote, introduced thus:
In recent numbers of the Cosmopolitan, beginning with the May number, Mr. Howard Bolce has a series of articles purporting to give an authentic statement of many of the radical ideas that are being taught by leading educators in some of the greatest universities of this country.
And then I found the original magazine article itself at Googlebooks. Bolce says that the false teachings in American colleges can be sorted into three categories, and the second is:
.. the scholastic conception of politics and political economy, the citation of democracy as a failure, and the academic labeling of the Declaration of Independence as “a work in spectacular rhetoric.” The surprises in this division of the general subject of college teaching—which includes such doctrines as the one promulgated by Prof. E. I,. Bogart, of Princeton, who said that the public is benefited when an inefficient competitor is forced out of business by the superior trust—are no less absorbing than the new preachment on morality. Formerly the best man in the community was the good Samaritan, but now, as Professor Patten, of the University of Pennsylvania, contends, “society owes its debt to the wealthy and far-seeing citizenry that paves and lights and polices the road to Jericho.”
The professor delivered some interesting lectures in regard to the home. “The servant problem,” said he, “is every year growing more difficult to solve. The modern home is in myriads of instances inefficiently run. Unless some great change comes to solve the question of obtaining expert and earnest domestic labor society must inevitably turn to the central kitchen and the institutional home. It would be far better for the people of one block to share a common cuisine, conducted scientifically, than to struggle along as at present, contracting debts and dyspepsia. An expert French cook to-day gets infinitely more wages than a teacher of romance French. It is impossible for an ordinary family to secure the services of such a chef, but it would be easy enough for the people of a block, where everyone is now spending money on an inefficient cook, to combine and get the services of a master of the culinary art.”
I’ve blogged before about how, in the first few decades of the twentieth century, business co-opted science and the cult of the expert really took hold of every area of life, including the family kitchen, as the numerous cookbooks recommending the healthful properties of corn syrup will attest (corn syrup- purer than honey!).You can get some ideas about just high a regard turn of the century America had for science in the kitchen (at least that portion of America publishing, and presumably reading, books) by browing through the vintage cookbooks available online here.
It’s also fascinating to realize how long it’s been since teaching in the public schools was designed to undermine teaching in the home.