Gritty Stones, Civilizational Mission, and History: Reflections on the Life of Stephen Tonsor with Dr. Gleaves Whitney

November 7, 2017

In 1984, when a young Gleaves Whitney journeyed from his home in Colorado to graduate school at the University of Michigan, it was with some trepidation. His doctoral advisor, according to a friend, “can be a mite prickly and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.”

Dr. Whitney’s advisor was historian Stephen Tonsor. Tonsor—a faithful Catholic with a strong belief in truth and a decidedly conservative political philosophy—seemed out of place at Michigan where he taught for nearly forty years. Yet his academic excellence, his brilliant mind, and his strong Christian character changed the lives of many of his students including Dr. Whitney.

Dr. Gleaves Whitney is Director of The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University, a member of Wyoming Catholic College’s Catholic Scholars Advisory Board, and our guest on The After Dinner Scholar.

The book Dr. Whitney recommends in the podcast is Equality, Decadence and Modernity: The Collected Essays of Stephen J. Tonsor edited by Gregory L. Schneider.

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