Larry Summers has been a player at the forefront of American civic, educational and governmental life. By profession he is an economist who is President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University. I think most Americans know of him through his role as the Secretary of the Treasury and as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration’s response to the Great Recession.
He is high on my list simply because he called out Cornel West at Harvard for a less than a stellar record as a scholar, to put it simply. I don’t think Summers could understand him either. 🙂
Summers is not a conservative, as usually defined. But he at times is plain spoken and says things that have to be said. He went through a particularly stormy time at Harvard for going against some liberal orthodoxies. It ultimately got him fired, but he broke though some walls that give me hope that even at Harvard, to change the metaphor, the sun can break through the clouds.
For me this extensive conversation with Bill Kristol was engaging and gave me some insight into the the more personal aspects of the many dramas in which Summers has played a role. There have been many. This is also a look at American civic life.