chapter
3 Pages

Nicholas Murray Butler

At the end of the twenty-five years during which he has been president of Columbia University we find ourselves in no mood to look back upon Dr. Butler’s achievements and to praise him as one who has accomplished his work. It is our impression that Dr. Butler has grown younger in the last few years and that he burns with a brighter flame. As he has grown in influence and in assured position he seems to have less and less inclination to pronounce those high but vague, those incontrovertible but inconsequential truths to which most men of his position devote so much of their attention. He does not merely repeat with unction what other men have thought. He thinks, and he thinks out loud, and he has become one of the half-dozen or so most clearly speaking and candidly thinking figures in American public life today. He has had his reward. In an age when it is the fashion in the highest places to speak much but to say little, and to smother all questions of high principles which can be smothered, he has come to occupy a position of peculiar importance in his party and in the Nation.