Saturday, February 10, 2007

Alma Mater: OMOM Essay 49

Searching for stories on Alma Mater in the New York Times, I came across a brief 1970 article noting that someone had thrown a bomb at her. That shocked me, and what shocked me even more was the fact that the bombing raised so little comment - apparently because at the time, there were too many other bombings and riots for it to be news-worthy. I place the Alma Mater bombing in that context in "About the Subject."

Alas, I didn't have space in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan to include excerpts from the New York Times Magazine symposium "Are We in the Middle of the 'Second American Revolution'?" (5/17/1970). It included an analysis by Ayn Rand that seemed to have been written in a different universe from the responses of the other participants. (See "From a Symposium" in Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.) To appreciate Rand's clarity and incisiveness, read the other contributions to the symposium, which you can purchase for $4.95 from the Times.

"About the Sculpture" describes the symbolism of Alma Mater. The Forgotten Delights calendar for 2006-2007 has another good photo of this 1903 sculpture and a wonderful quote from Owen Young on the importance of integrating what one learns.

Incidentally, the bomb hit the left side of Alma Mater as you look at her, but the sculpture was repaired so well that no damage is visible.

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