. He has written on a wide range of topics, but is perhaps best known as a philosopher of education
, his Teacher in America (1945) being a strong influence on post-WWII training of schoolteachers in the United States.
Barzun was born in Créteil
, France to Henri-Martin and Anna-Rose Barzun. He spent his childhood in Paris and Grenoble
. His father was a member of the Abbaye de Créteil
group of artists and writers and also worked in the French Ministry of Labor.
Among the words that can be all things to all men, the word "race" has a fair claim to being the most common, most ambiguous and most explosive. No one today would deny that it is one of the great catchwords about which ink and blood are spilled in reckless quantities. Yet no agreement seems to exist about what race means.
Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
A student under my care owes his first allegiance to himself and not to my specialty; and must not be burdened with my work as if he followed no other and had contracted no obligation under heaven but that of satisfying my requirements.
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game — and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.
The greatest artists have never been men of taste. By never sophisticating their instincts they have never lost the awareness of the great simplicities, which they relish both from appetite and from the challenge these offer to skill in competition with popular art.
The one thing that unifies men in a given age is not their individual philosophies but the dominant problem that these philosophies are designed to solve.