As a foundering graduate student

As a foundering graduate student of unsettled convictions in 1974, about to drop out of school just after I had enrolled, I picked up a Wall Street Journal sitting at the lunch counter of a New Haven restaurant. It was the first time I’d ever read the paper. In it was one of the paper’s classic “reported” editorials, this one on an arms-control related subject; the editorial was thoughtful, dramatic, and compelling. In retrospect I can see the editorial must have been written by its then-new editorial page editor, Robert Bartley.
I have been a faithful reader of the Journal editorial page ever since, and over time it has provided both the best and most economical education I have received outside the classroom of Dartmouth’s Professor Jeffrey Hart. Reading Bartley’s account of his 30-year tenure as editor of the Journal yesterday, I realized how much the country is indebted to his stewardship of the paper’s vital editorial page and how much of a difference even one unlikely person with the right ideas and gifts can make. The published version of Bartley’s summing-up is an excerpt from his valedictory address in New York on Tuesday night: “Thirty Years of Progress–Mostly.” Don’t miss it!


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