Despite the provocative work of Robert Wiebe, Laurence Veysey, Martin Sklar, and others, one finds that American intellectual culture and the institutions that sustained it fit less easily into the ideal typologies of modernization. This chapter advances the view that Yale’s role in the post-Civil War struggle over the secularizing of higher education-in particular its resistance to lay governance and the modernization of the curriculum-was more than an effort to perpetuate backward-looking sectarian parochialism. Rather, it actually looked forward to the very real dilemmas facing the agendas of intellectuals and cultural institutions in the emergent national economy and was, as such, the starting point of an effort to demarcate institutionally a domain of cultural authority insulated from the forces of mass markets and politics. It seems peculiarly ironic that mid-twentieth century public intellectuals like Richard Hofstadter chose to identify themselves-and the cause of academic freedom-with the businessmen who seized control of America’s cultural institutions after the Civil War.