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I believe our responsibility lies in recog¬ nizing the commonality among people, not revving up our sense of evil.

To the extent that we do cheat against the moral absolutes, we must learn to for¬ give our neighbors and ourselves. Evil and novelty In the Fall issue of CCT, Professor Andrew Delban¬ co asks: "Have Americans lost their sense of evil?

by Peter Halley 28 A Brush with Stardom When he set his sights on the heavens, astro¬ physicist Ben Oppenheimer '94 helped discover a missing link in the cosmos.

by Laurence Lippsett Citizen of the world: The anthropologist Margaret Mead, who studied and taught at Columbia for several decades, in her tower office at the American Museum of Natural History. PHOTO: KEN HEYMAN Departments 2 Letters to the Editor 5 Within the Family 6 Around the Quads 14 Roar Lion Roar 30 Bookshelf 32 Obituaries 34 Class Notes 57 Classified on the cover: A 2,000-year-old Inka burial mantle studied by the noted archaeologist Junius Bird '30 of the American Museum of Natural History.

This is a small portion of a much larger funerary weaving depicting dozens of shaman figures. COXE/AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Printed on recycled paper 2 Columbia College Today Columbia College TODAY Volume 22 Number 1 Spring 1996 EDITOR James C. Vinciguerra '85 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Donna Satow DESIGN CONSULTANT Jean-Claude Suares CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Oliver Conant David Lehman '70 Laurence Lippsett Thomas M. Taylor '87 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Arnold Browne '78 Philippe Cheng Nick Romanenko '82 ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD Ivan B.

Address all editorial correspondence and advertising inquiries to: 475 Riverside Drive—Suite 917 New York, N. 10115 Telephone: (212) 870-2752 Fax: (212) 870-2747 E-mail: [email protected] 0572-7820 Opinions expressed are those of the authors or editors, and do not reflect official positions of Columbia College or Columbia University. Letters to Heroic sense In the Fall 1995 issue of Columbia College Today, I found (to my delight) a broad range and variation of views, all elo¬ quently expressed.

Professor Andrew Delbanco ["Have Americans lost their sense of evil?

It results from the "lust for innovation," to borrow Samuel Johnson's phrase, that currently seems to be raging through the academic world in a partic¬ ularly destructive form. A groundbreaking ceremony was organized in order to obtain media coverage. A large crane was sent to the site—very tall and very ominous.

We can, however, comfort ourselves with the thought that this—like many innovations before it—will eventually pass away. On Looking Into the Abyss, Professor Gertrude Himmel- farb encourages us not to lose hope: If we have survived the "death of God" and the "death of man," we will surely survive the "death of his- tory"-and of truth, reason, morality, society, reality, and all the other veri¬ ties we used to take for granted and that now have been "problematized" and "deconstructed." We will even survive the death of postmodernism. Its enormous scooper could move right to left, up and down and so forth. Assembled dignitaries were there, from Columbia President Grayson Kirk on down to the students, the press, and many onlookers.

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