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Nature and Revelation: A History of Macalester College Hardcover – April 23, 2010

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Jeanne Halgren Kilde is director of the religious studies program at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of several books, including Sacred Power, Sacred Space: An Introduction to Christian Architecture and Worship and When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America.

James Brewer Stewart is James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus at Macalester College.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (April 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816656266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816656264
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,598,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Nature and Revelation is "a history of Macalester College," tracing its growth from a small school on the Western frontier to one of the premiere liberal arts colleges in the country. Nothing was foreordained about its success: most schools that had begun under similar circumstances folded at some point along the way. Macalester's success was due to a number of factors, including a long succession of dedicated, visionary presidents and the financial backing of DeWitt Wallace, founder of the Reader's Digest. The school fell on hard times in the late 1960s to early 1970s, when the "countercultural" movement not only provoked an "identity crisis" about the mission of the college, but also led to the loss of Wallace's financial support. For many years, the school had been running a defiicit in its operating costs, and Wallace had been the principal bulwark against the school's going into decline. The appointment of a new president, John B. Davis, in 1975 brought the college's finances back into the black, and (not coincidentally) also resulted in bringing Wallace back into the fold. When Wallace died in 1984, he left a large amount of Reader's Digest stock to the college, seemingly ensuring it financial stability for the indefinite future.

There are two areas which I wished the author would have been emphasized more. One is the history of the school after 2000, when the book stops. I was left wondering how the school has fared since. Even a brief epilogue describing recent events would have helped. Also, I wish there would have been more discussion of the context in which Macalester has operated. For example, it is unclear to me how the school's development, particularly in recent years, compares with its peers, such as Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I graduated from Macalester in 1970 and found this book a difficult read.
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