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University community had a rare opportunity in the spring to hear
a series of speakers who came to Wake Forest to participate in what
Utley called the “Tocqueville Forum.” The purposes of the Forum
were defined variously as to “demonstrate vividly the importance
and relevance of the liberal arts to public life,” to
“illustrate the relationship between theory and
practice in American politics,” and to “reason
about the goals appropriate for human life.”
The first four “Tocqueville Forum” speakers
were on the campus at the same time: economist
Irving Kristol, a neoconservative; historian Arthur
Schlesigner Jr., who had been an adviser to Dem-
ocratic presidents; political philosopher Sheldon
Wolin, described by Utley as a “leftist populist”;
and another political philosopher (and a second
conservative), Harry Jaffa. What was particularly
impressive about the speeches and the exchanges
that followed was the opportunity thereby given to
Wake Foresters to hear, in the same place, oppos-
ing ideological responses to basic questions about
American democracy.
At later times in the spring the “Forum” presented eight more
speakers: Kenneth Karst from UCLA, Edward Erler from Califor-
nia State College, Hugh Heclo from Harvard, Edward Banfield
(also from Harvard), Michael Novak from the American Enter-
prise Institute, Philip Green from Smith College, and finally, two
more Harvard professors, James Q. Wilson and Lloyd Weinreb.
Long-time observers of life at Wake Forest could not recall there
having ever been on the campus, certainly in any one semester,
such an array of distinguished speakers and such opportunities
for debate among men of such widely different views.
Coincidentally, another lecture series was offered in the spring,
heightening still further the opportunities for intellectual discovery
suddenly available to Wake Foresters. Three theologians (Theodore
Runyon from Emory, Edward Farley from Vanderbilt, and Harvey
Cox from Harvard) and three anthropologists (Robert Spencer from
Minnesota, Melford Spiro from San Diego, and James Peacock
from Chapel Hill) came in six successive weeks to discuss “Images
of Man.” The program, entitled “Religion and the Social Crisis,”
Toby Hale
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