"...engagement in the course offerings of the Harvard Summer School is the essential condition for coming to Cambridge in the summer." --from the Summer School Catalogue
To assuage your fears, the Catalogue does add that "there are other things to be done" than study in summertime Cambridge, and we have heard a similar rumor. But there are indeed "course offerings," and we review here, for your edification, some of the choicer morsels.
At 8 a.m. the day begins with the notorious Economics S-1, "Principles of Economics." The largest course in the University during the regular school year, "ec 1" is a dull but "valuable" introduction. It is the course most students, in their more dutiful moments, vow they "must take" and few regret it. You too can be attacked by your local American Legion!
If one seeks a different tone at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m., Prof. Krister Stendahl holds forth in Humanities S-118, "Introduction to the New Testament." Another view of our problems and how to solve them is presented at the same hour by Dr. George W. Goethals in Social Relations S-147, "Theories of Personality." Goethals is a refreshing departure from the typical "soc rel" man who is usually reduced, according to one concentrator, "to giving different names to the same few things one learns in every other course."
If 8 a.m. is as ghastly a thought for you as it is for us, try one of the 9 a.m. gems: English S-115, "Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales" with the delightful Prof. B. J. Whiting; Humanities S-115, "Thought and Literature of the Renaissance" with the debonair Walter J. Kaiser; or Philosophy S-185, "Existentialism," a course not given for the past few years during the winter term. Also at this time is a course never offered before, Comparative Literature S-174, "Modern Greek Literature." This could be one of the most exciting courses of the summer, and is given by a visiting Oxfordian, Prof. C. A. Trypanis.
Also at 9 a.m. is Chemistry S-20, "Organic Chemistry," an experience that has reduced the strongest of men to tears. It meets for eight hours a day, and is doubtless one of the most difficult undergraduate courses given in any university on any subject.
The next hour is much more civilized, and allows time for a leisurely breakfast. Two of the best social science courses of the summer, Prof. Louis Hartz' Social Sciences S-118, and Prof. Robert G. McCloskey's Government S-107, are given then. Hartz teaches "Democratic Theory and Its Critics," a trenchant and often brilliant (occasionally too brilliant) examination of the "reconstruction of classical liberal thought." Many have been known to swear by Hartz, as they do by McCloskey, who teaches (in the summer only) "American Political Thought."
Also at 10 a.m. one has the chance to hear, perhaps for the last time at Harvard, Professor Emeritus Raphael Demos in Philosophy S-1a. As much in appearance as in approach, Demos is a modern Socrates, midwife to innumerable fertile students over the years.
Now we reach 11 a.m.--the perfect hour for a class--and there are many good ones. Government S-1a is taught by McCloskey and Prof. C. J. Friedrich and offers an excellent introduction to comparative government. Government S-180 is being taught by Charles Burton Marshall, a frequent contributor to The New Republic, while Prof. Henry Kissinger (the winter term lecturer) conducts the International Seminar.
English S-70b, the modern American lit survey, will undoubtedly be mobbed. The reading is fine, but you can do it on your own, and lecturer Kenneth Lynn is no bargain. A possible alternative to Lynn's obsessive neo-Freudianism is English S-163, Denis Donoghue's "Modern British and American Poetry." Prof. Donoghue is from Dublin, and unknown to us, but his reading list is astounding. Check it out.
Also at this time is Natural Sciences S-9, taken by those too lazy (or too smart) to take a "nat sci" during the winter. Don't take it if you don't have to, and those who have to take it are already painfully aware of its contents.
Of the courses given at other times, Prof. Donoghue's English S-166, "Modern British Drama," in intriguing. And Dr. Robert Kiely heads two creative writing courses--clearly the ideal course for the summer.