Felicitations at 95

What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is PRAISE—although the philosophers generally call it 'recognition'! —William James to Henri Bergson, 13 June 1907

These greetings were collected by Dr. Monir Tayeb for The Hector Berlioz Website on the occasion of Jacques Barzun's 95th birthday, 30 November 2002. Mr. Barzun is president of The Berlioz Society.

The contributors were:
Theodore S. Adams, John Ahouse, John Winthrop Aldrich, Quentin Anderson, Thomas J. Archdeacon, Mark Arnest, Jay Arnold, Wm. Theodore de Bary, Christian Bauer, John Beech, Arnold Beichman, David Bernat, Richard Bibeau, Rudolph Binion, Gabor Boritt, Glenn G. Boyer, Elliot J Brebner, Adrian Brown, Mary Elizabeth Brown, Michael W. Brown, Robert Brustein, Rick Casey, Rafe Champion, David Charlton, Joel Colton, Robert Conquest, Art Cowles, David Dannenbaum TJ Davis, Marion Deshmukh, Pepijn van Doesburg, Mary and Richard Dunn, Bruce Edwards, Kenneth Ehrenberg, Joseph Epstein, George Otto Eros, Anne Fadiman, Matthew E. Ferris, Dorothy A. Flood, Jean and Robert Flynn, Kevin J. Foley, Max Frankel, Rose Glennon, Eugene Goodheart, Edith and Henry Graff, Graham, Flo Grant, Japhy Grant, Andrew J. Grgurich, Thomas Guinsburg, Rachel Hadas, Youngjin Hahn, Gene Halaburt, Mark Halpern, Joseph Anthony Harder, Robert Harrington, Steve Hayes, Carole Herbin, Donna Hildreth, Martin Hill, Max Hocutt, David Hodgdon, John Hollander, Reint Holsbergen, Harold M. Hyman, Joe Istre, Robert Ivy, Kenneth T. Jackson, Aleta Jackson, Travis Beal Jacobs, Marion E. Jemmott, Mike Joyce, Louis Torres & Michelle Marder Kamhi, James C. Katz, William Keylor, Robert D. King, Timothy King, Katherine Kolb, Craig Kridel, Jim Lawrence, Bart Leahy, Patricia-Ann Lee, Alison H. Lemer, Herb London, Marcelle Loomie, Arthur E. Lyons, Hugh Macdonald, Dianne Sachko Macleod, Richard and Janet Macnutt, Mike Maxwell, Kathy Mayer, Allan Megill, Alden Mesrop, Martin Meyerson, David Middleton, Karen Allred Mitchell, Robert Morris, James C. Morris, Mark Murphy, Mary Murphy, Michael Murray, David Gershom Myers, John Nelson, Francis M. Nevins, James Nichols, Emiliana P. Noether, Jim O'Toole, Edward T. Oakes, John Orens, Jim Page, Emanuel M. Papper, Thomas W. Parsons, Richard Peltz, Morris Philipson, Donald Phillipson, Jerry E. Pournelle, Bruce Purcell, Diane Ravitch, Joseph Reed, Jonathan Rose, Roger Ruggeri, Gordon Rumson, Gerald Russello, Roy R. Russo, Dudley E. Sarfaty, Edward W. Schneider, Steve Sheppard, Charles Simkins, Tracy Lee Simmons, Jodi Smith, Ralph Smith, Richard Sonn, Fritz Stern, Jean Stipicevic, Richard Stone, Jack Sullivan, suuny, William E. Tanner, Shawn Thuris, James Trefil, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., William A. Verdone, Sue Vernon, Peter Vignoli, Thomas Vinciguerra, Robert K. Wallace, Christian Wasselin, Henry J. Watkin, Mahinda Weerasinghe, Eric Wehl, Max Weismann, Erik Wensberg, Dennis M. White, Christopher Wilkins, Colin Wilson, David Winn, Olivia Wong, Leo Wong, John Wrzesien, Barry Zeman

Fri Oct 24 2003 09:29:12
David Dannenbaum

To Jacques Barzun:

I re-read your articles, essays and books, and I re-read the works you have written about. As a result, I find my way to new work.

I look forward to your next book.

Best wishes,
David Dannenbaum

Thu Dec 19 2002 22:32:49
Rachel Hadas

Best wishes from Rachel Hadas.

Sun Dec 15 2002 22:33:13
Quentin Anderson

Dear Jacques,

I am so pleased that you are being properly celebrated! Now that I have reached 90, the distance between us has shrunk. I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Quentin Anderson

Sat Dec 14 22:49:28 2002
Joel Colton

Best wishes on a landmark birthday to one who for so many years has been an inspiration to all who work in the history vineyard.

Joel Colton,
Duke University, Emeritus

Sat Nov 30 23:59:59 2002
Rick Casey

“May you live to be a hundred—and another year to repent!”

Sat Nov 30 19:50:31 2002
Jim O'Toole

Dear Jacques:

I am giving myself a very special treat today in honor of your birthday. I am spending the entire day wrapped up snuggly in bed with a copy of From Dawn to Decadence. What a wonderful birthday present you have given me! I can't wait to see what marvelous treat you are cooking up for all your friends, students, and admirers to enjoy on your 100th Birthday. Thank you for continuing to educate us in such a thoroughly enjoyable manner.

Happy Birthday,
Jim O'Toole

Sat Nov 30 06:36:24 2002
Louis Torres & Michelle Marder Kamhi

Dear Jacques:

It was nearly fifteen years ago that, having particularly admired your recent essay on art criticism ”A Little Matter of Sense,” we went to hear you speak on the subject at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Little did we imagine that our brief conversation with you following your talk would develop into an ongoing correspondence, and eventually into friendship.

For the knowledge and wisdom we continue to gain from your work and for the encouragement you have generously offered us over the years in ours, we shall always be grateful—in particular, for the fact that, soon after completing From Dawn to Decadence, you found time to read through, and comment on, our own lengthy book, on the philosophy of art.

We're delighted to join other friends and admirers in this online tribute to you on the occasion of your 95th birthday, and send all our best wishes for good health and for continued pleasures of the mind.

Louis & Michelle

Sat Nov 30 06:20:26 2002
Timothy King

Dear Mr. Barzun,

I've enjoyed reading all of these greetings from your long-time readers and associates, friends who lunched with you on occasion, former students and fellow colleagues. It is heartening to know that there are so many of them out there, although I cannot quite rank myself amongst their numbers. I never had the privilege of attending your classes or talks; even my parents are too young to have done so. In fact, I had never even heard of you till about a year ago when a friend recommended your most recent book to me. In spite of my past ignorance, however, it seems that I am no stranger to you, for within the pages of every book of yours that I have read (too many of which have gone out of print) I have invariably discovered myself. By this I mean not a sudden epiphany or revelation of things hitherto unknown, but a sense of profound familiarity and recognition, of my own half-sensed ideas and vague impressions leaping out at me from the page fully developed, put forth by you with perfect clarity, and defended with enthusiastic vigor.

I am not a stranger to beautiful old books, and thanks to you I have discovered so many more that I might never have known of otherwise, but for me your own writings will always occupy a place slightly apart from the rest. I can best explain myself with an apt comparison: what William James was to you, you have been to me; in the same way that The Principles of Psychology challenged and inspired you in your youth, so has From Dawn to Decadence—that vast collaborative masterpiece—given me not only a guide to the country to be travelled, but a sketch as well of this particular traveller. No less importantly, you have provided me in the midst of my own confused “life of quiet desperation” with more of the quiet—that calm which comes with the historian's detachment from the turbulent present—and thereby lessened the desperation as well.

For all of this, how can I ever hope to repay you? Merely expressing the gratitude I feel toward you is beyond the capability of these few meager paragraphs. The least I can do is wish you the happiest of birthdays, and assure you that I will always remain your indebted and very grateful admirer,

Timothy King

Sat Nov 30 03:36:49 2002
Eric Wehl eric@beyle.nt

Jacques Barzun
Isn't Tarzan,
But Cooke wasn't fibbin'
To class him with Gibbon.

Hommage à Roger du Béarn

Fri Nov 29 18:43:34 2002
David Winn

Dear Jacques,

Very best birthday wishes.

In appreciation of your encouragement and support,
David Winn

Fri Nov 29 13:42:54 2002
Joseph Reed

Jacques Barzun,

I and you collaborated with Paul Horgan on a Clerihew book years ago. I greet you on your 95th.

Joseph Reed

Fri Nov 29 06:15:15 2002
Youngjin Hahn

Dear Mr. Barzun,

Happy birthday! As I write this message on Thanksgiving, I feel especially grateful for your words and thoughts. Your books have been a steady and sobering guide for what might be called the “college process”; that is, my senior year of high school. At a time in my life when every decision seems to bring more confusion and uncertainty, you have shown me a way to think about college and education with a historical perspective instead of with stress over the immediate.

I never suspected at first how much I'd be affected when my friend recommended From Dawn to Decadence and Begin Here and The Culture We Deserve and on and on. It turns out that these books have shown me paths where I would not have known to look, warned me of peril in places where I would have felt no danger, and although I am now burdened with new responsibility, I have a hopeful vision that I never have had before in my life. Perhaps the best gift I can offer you for your birthday is the news that your words have met a new reader, and woken another young mind from its dogmatic slumber. Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday.


Wed Nov 27 23:52:05 2002
Arthur E. Lyons MD

As a member of the Columbia College class of 1952, I was privileged to have you for several sections in Contemporary Civilization. You afforded me some of my most important memories of my college career.

The ideas which you imparted and inculcated have never lost their importance in my life. I can say without fear of contradiction that your wonderful teaching was and is your great legacy and all of us who were given the opportunity to be in your classes have carried this legacy forward as I know you would have wished.

Please accept along with those of hundreds of others my most hearty congratulations on this your 95th birthday.

Wed Nov 27 20:15:55 2002
Gordon Rumson

Dear Professor Barzun,

I want to extend to you my warmest wishes on your birthday. Those of us who love the music of Berlioz, those who teach in America, we modern researchers, those who watch the glorious entertainment, indeed all of us who live in the house of intellect are forever in your debt. Thank you a thousand times.

Gordon Rumson

Wed Nov 27 19:21:22 2002
Edith and Henry Graff

Jacques, we wish you not only a happy, happy birthday but also everything we would wish for ourselves. Know that in accepting our wishes on this great occasion they come with our love to you and to Marguerite also.

Wed Nov 27 18:24:51 2002
Mike Maxwell

Dear Professor Barzun—

You have been a touchstone. I first encountered your writing when I was an undergraduate student studying history at the University of Colorado; you encouraged me to think of history in a deeper way. Now I am a high school history teacher with a website for history teachers where your thinking figures prominently. Should you be interested, here are a couple of web pages to check out.

The Goal of Education & The History Wars

Thanks and best wishes.
—Mike Maxwell

Wed Nov 27 15:33:30 2002
Roy R. Russo

Dear Professor Barzun,

I am delighted to add my greetings to you on the occasion of your 95th birthday. You continue to amaze in so many ways. I find myself, in my sixties, hoping I will be around for your 100th!

My precious copy of From Dawn to Decadence which you generously inscribed for me (with the intercession of our mutual friend Treva Kelly) is showing some wear from the number of friends who have borrowed it (and claimed to read it too.)

I have just assumed the post of President of the Columbia College Club of the Mid-Atlantic and I know I speak for all of your Washington DC-area fans in thanking you once again for gracing us with your presence at the 100th Anniversary dinner of the Columbia University Club of Washington.

Roy R. Russo, '56C

Wed Nov 27 02:35:05 2002
Dennis M. White

Happy birthday to my intellectual mentor. The first book of yours that I read was The House of Intellect, and I suppose I have read almost everything else that you have published. It is to my eternal regret that I was admitted to Columbia, but attended college in the West.

Well here it is forty years later and I am retiring from the insurance business, and am planning to teach high school history. In fact I am currently enrolled in graduate school and have to take a series of insipid “education” courses. On my desk, at this minute are four books. The first is perhaps the worst college text I have ever seen. It is Educational Psychology by Robert E. Slavin. The other books are Begin Here, Simple & Direct, and Teacher in America, which serve as my anchor.

I think the best birthday present I can give to you is to introduce a new generation to your writings.

Wed Nov 27 00:01:18 2002
Kevin J. Foley

Happy Birthday! I believe I took your last graduate course when I was a student at Columbia College and I attended your last public lecture in Low Library. At the beginning of that lecture you announced that it would be your last public lecture at Columbia. It was a dramatic gesture; I have never forgotten it.

You have been a great influence in my life. You once suggested that any material, even the New York City phone book, could provide valuable information for the historian. I took that to heart in my legal career and was noted as a master of unusual sources of facts.

The precision of your language and ideas continues to inspire me and I have derived great pleasure from reading and re-reading your books.

Thank you to the Berlioz Society for providing the opportunity for this grateful student to give his thanks and best wishes to Professor Barzun.

Kevin Foley

Tue Nov 26 20:47:09 2002
Barry Zeman

On behalf of all the members of Mystery Writers of America, I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday. Not only are you a former Ellery Queen Award Winner but the author of one of the mostly widely used and definitive volumes of reference material for the mystery genre—A Catalogue of Crime.

With deepest respect,
Barry Zeman, Executive Vice President
Mystery Writers of America

Tue Nov 26 20:33:12 2002
William E. Tanner, Professor Emeritus, Texas Woman's University

Dear Professor Barzun,

You “play such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep.” Thank you for the sounds that rise from your marvelous, fantastic symphony that I have listened to for so many, many years. I treasure the typescript of your “Rhetoric of the Arts” and the memory of your visit to Texas Woman's University.

Most sincerely,
William E. Tanner, Professor Emeritus of English

Tue Nov 26 19:57:03 2002
Elliot J Brebner

A most Happy Birthday. You may remember me as the son of the late J Bartlet Brebner, who would be wishing you personal greetings if he were alive.

In reading the book on Intrepid, I realized that you and my father both were in contact with him during WW II. One day (a non-school day for me), my father and I went to NYC, including a stop at the RCA building in which the secret British office was located. My father left me to wait under the statue of Atlas holding up the world, and went in alone. He then soon came back and took me with him into the building and we took the elevator up to the floor with the office (BCS is the abbreviation, as I remember). Obviously, my father did not fill me in on what I had really seen. So much for a bit added Brebner history.

Best wishes and many happy returns,
Ruth and Elliot Brebner

Tue Nov 26 15:58:40 2002
Alden Mesrop

Dear Professor Barzun,

Best wishes to you on your 95th birthday from a student you taught in Contemporary Civilization, 1948–1949. The experience was unforgetable, as was my reading of From Dawn to Decadence. Vive le Professeur!

Alden Mesrop

Tue Nov 26 06:11:13 2002
Richard Peltz

Cher M. Barzun,

Mes f鬩citations ࠶ous pour votre anniversaire distingu頡ussi bien que pour votre vie distingu饮 On m'a fait votre connaissance comme 飲ivain ࠬ'鰯que de ma premi貥 ann饠au Columbia College. Oui, c'鴡it votre livre merveilleux Simple & Direct qui reste encore un pilier de n'importe quelle biblioth豵e comme toujours.

Tue Nov 26 03:16:45 2002
James C. Katz

Dear Jacques:

I am one of the many who regard you as a model citizen of the university and the world of humane letters; I have also been touched by you personally as editor and writer, teacher and sympathetic soul. I am very grateful for all you have accomplished and generously shared. May you have a happy 95th, and many more.

With fond regards,
Jamie Katz

Tue Nov 26 00:51:29 2002
Richard Stone

Friend, mentor, and unbought spirit. All the best to you on your 95th birthday.

Mon Nov 25 23:58:00 2002
George Otto Eros

Happy Birthday wishes.

Thank you for your life's work & legacy, and especially the BRILLIANT MASTERPIECE WITHOUT PARALLEL From Dawn to Decadence, which not only enlightens us ignorant modern men but serves as a warning and a call to do good.

As a side-note, I do wish that you had given the much-slandered Calvin a “break” on Servetus and would refer you to Loraine Boettner's re-examination of the commonly accepted view.

Best regards,
George Otto Eros
Seattle, WA & Windsor, Berks

Mon Nov 25 22:42:24 2002
Edward W. Schneider, CC'61

Wishing you a very happy birthday, and thanking you for living proof that, in an age of specialists, a generalist has much to contribute. I especially want to thank you for bringing Wilson Follett's Modern American Usage to print. It has been a trustworthy guide for many years.

Mon Nov 25 22:24:37 2002
Peter Vignoli

I am just an admirer of those Columbia professors who gave so much of themselves in their vigorous early years to enlighten eager and naive teenagers thirsting for knowledge and historical perspective. I fondly remember Columbia College in the late 40's and those CC professors who never indulged in the “political correctness” of the 90s. May your birthday be joyful and a true celebration of life.

Peter Vignoli 51c 52e

Mon Nov 25 22:20:30 2002
Arnold Beichman

Back in 1967 you gave me lunch at the Faculty Club and advice which, as an aging entrant into the Graduate Faculties, I surely needed. You told me henceforth I was to save all bits of paper I would be collecting—reading lists, syllabi, lecture notes, book notes—throw nothing away. You never can tell when they'll come in handy. You were being practical like Prometheus, who gave mankind something useful, as Whitehead pointed out. So you were to me Prometheus who also brought me to Berlioz. Your books supplied what else I needed. I thank you.

Mon Nov 25 21:52:03 2002
Rev. Dudley E. Sarfaty C'47

I have appreciated Professor Barzun as a teacher ever since I was in his class in 1946 and wrote a paper on the movement from Romanticism to religion for the course. I have worked hard over my own career to include the insights of his teaching in my own professional life.

It has been a joy to see him again on the television interviews as he presented his new book. I wish him well in all things, professional and personal.

516 River Road Malone NY 12953–4016

Mon Nov 25 19:46:19 2002
John Winthrop Aldrich

The family of John Jay Chapman sends warm greetings to Professor Barzun on his 95th birthday. Barzun's essay on Chapman and his selection of Chapman's writings published 45 years ago brought overdue recognition to the powerful intellect of this American essayist, critic and moralist.

John Winthrop Aldrich
Barrytown, NY

Mon Nov 25 13:04:33 2002
Martin Hill

Dear Professor,

Many congratulations and best wishes. I first read Berlioz and the Romantic Century shortly after starting work when I began serious concert and opera going on my own initiative. Over the succeeding forty years it has deepened my understanding and love for the Master and the two volumes remain an essential point of reference and regular re-reading. Many people live long lives but few have enriched the lives of others to such an extent. Thank you.

Martin Hill

Sun Nov 24 21:47:39 2002
Mary and Richard Dunn

Happy Birthday, Professor Barzun! As Executive Officers of the American Philosophical Society (and as long-time admirers of yours) we send you greetings on behalf of your fellow APS members, and their thanks for your continued interest in the Society. The Prize we are able to give in your honor enriches us in every way, too, and we are very grateful to have it.

With all good wishes,
Mary and Richard Dunn

Sun Nov 24 13:59:31 2002
Christian Bauer

Dear Jacques Barzun,

You may not remember, but some fifteen years ago I had the great pleasure to spend an unforgettable morning at your Manhattan apartment, chatting with you about Cornell Woolrich, and the New York intellectual scene of the Twenties and Thirties. The outcome was my film Night without Morning about Woolrich and his noir writings for German Television.

I followed your career from afar, happy to have met you once. When From Dawn to Decadence appeared, I got my copy right away, greatly admiring how you had mastered the impossible—and not only that: You were taking us readers on your shoulders, giving us the feeling that WE were observing and analyzing history, while it was in fact YOU who made us see and understand.

Francis Nevins alerted me to this opportunity to congratulate you on your 95th birthday. I䭠happy that my wishes can become part of this website: May the sun continue to shine on you, your life and your works!

Christian Bauer

Sat Nov 23 22:50:59 2002
Theodore S. Adams

Dear Prof. Barzun:

Fifty years ago when I began teaching, I read Teacher in America. It was the perfect book for the beginning teacher. Fifty years later it remains the perfect book for the beginning teacher. Or the jaded teacher.


Theodore S. Adams

Sat Nov 23 04:11:42 2002
Mary Elizabeth Brown

Dear Professor Barzun,

Some time ago, you were kind enough to assist me in writing a little entry about you for Professor Kenneth Jackson's Encyclopedia of New York City. You were a model of graciousness. Heureux anniversaire!

Mary Elizabeth Brown

Fri Nov 22 22:48:55 2002
Robert Morris

I fondly recall our work together on the Board of the Council for Basic Education and now join with countless others in wishing you best wishes and warmest regards. Over the years, most of the attention you have received has been the result of your brilliant contributions to contemporary intellectual life. They have earned you a prominence richly deserved. Those of us who have had the great privilege of knowing you personally now celebrate, also, your exceptional qualities as a loving, caring human being. Happy Birthday!

Fri Nov 22 22:22:38 2002
Prof. Francis M. Nevins

Dear Professor Barzun:

I still fondly remember the day more than 32 years ago when you invited me to visit you at Columbia and offered to chat with me about your undergraduate classmate Cornell Woolrich. About a dozen years later I arranged for the German film-maker Christian Bauer to interview you in connection with Nacht Ohne Morgen, his documentary on Woolrich. And just a few weeks ago I was back at Columbia helping to organize what we hope will be a worthy event in honor of that haunted man's centenary, early in December 2003. You of course would be a star attraction at any such event and I do hope you'll be able to attend in person. Meanwhile, my best wishes for a most enjoyable 95th birthday and for continued life and good health on your own centenary a few short years from now.

Mike Nevins

Fri Nov 22 20:19:49 2002
Richard Bibeau

Dear Professor Barzun,

My mother also celebrates her birthday today, and at 88 she is still interested in the world and very opinionated. I am a curious soul now interested in history and culture and find your works stimulating and a source of lively discussion among friends and colleagues. Thank you for enriching our lives.

Best wishes on this special occasion.

Richard Bibeau

Fri Nov 22 19:48:07 2002
Glenn G. Boyer

Dear Jacques:

I think I said it for me at far greater length than would be appropriate here, in my review of your From Dawn to Decadence.

Years ago I perceived our common alarm at the descent of the U.S.A. into what I call the PHD-acy, or the Licensing of pro forma Brains in order to be allowed to practice thinking.

You provided me some excellent armor in your interview with Newsweek in which you emphasized that history is “story telling.” I have been attacked for years for telling the “story” of Mrs. Wyatt Earp in her memoir: I Married Wyatt Earp. Therefore, I have both just and pragmatic reasons to appreciate you beyond your erudition, which is a world treasure, since you have chosen to share it in such an engaging and sprightly manner in your published work.

I wish you good health and and even longer life.

With unbounded respect

Glenn G. Boyer

Fri Nov 22 18:23:30 2002
Japhy Grant

Mr. Barzun:

I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations and joy as you mark your 95th birthday. While I have only discovered your work in the past year, it already has had a profound influence on the way I think and write. From Dawn to Decadence was the first book I've read that allowed me, through its cultural history, to place my own generation into some sort of historical context. It's also a fascinating, funny and witty read and I continue to recommend it to friends.

Since then, I have read Simple & Direct. I have always considered myself a good writer and have breezed through composition classes without much thought—or effort. Simple & Direct has challenged me to consider my writing in a whole new light; you inspire your readers to work their words with the precision of a surgeon, rather than simply hacking their way towards meaning.

I wish you all the best and look forward to the pleasure of reading your words for many years to come.

With highest regard,
Japhy Grant

Fri Nov 22 15:54:57 2002
Marcelle Loomie

Dear Professor Barzun:

I have not had the good fortune of attending any of your lectures or seminars. But through Simple & Direct you have been my teacher. For twenty years I have used it, as you have suggested, like “a person to listen to,” a person whose exhortations I live my life of writing by. Thank you.

It pleases me to have the opportunity to add to the bouquet of greetings for your 95th birthday. Happy Birthday

Marcelle Loomie

Fri Nov 22 14:53:42 2002
Joseph Anthony Harder

Jacques Barzun's books and articles have given me tremendous pleasure and enlightenment. He is, indeed, a magnificent man and an eloquent scholar.

Joseph Harder

Fri Nov 22 12:11:56 2002
Colin Wilson

I have been one of your warmest admirers, ever since buying your Berlioz book around half a century ago—as definitive and important as Newman on Wagner. And I am at present immensely enjoying A Jacques Barzun Reader. Please accept my warmest congratulations on your birthday.

Fri Nov 22 11:55:42 2002
Reint Holsbergen

Mes meilleurs voeux ࠊacques Barzun, grand historien et propagateur du grand compositeur Hector Berlioz. Qu'il puisse jouir d'une bonne sant頰endant les ann饳 qu'il lui resteront.

Fri Nov 22 02:41:19 2002
Jodi Smith

Dear Mr. Barzun,

I picked up From Dawn to Decadence last year and became an instant fan of yours. I subsequently read Begin Here, which I believe should be required reading for anyone who has anything to do with the school system at all—teachers, parents, etc.

Your work as an author and as an editor (for the Great Books Foundation) has taught me a great deal, given me much pleasure, and inspired me to pursue my goals (one of which is to make an impact on education) relentlessly. I wish I could have had the opportunity to sit in your classroom when you were teaching.

As you celebrate your 95th birthday, I send you my admiration, and I thank you for sharing your knowledge. Furthermore, know that you are in my prayers for many more truly blessed years.

Jodi Smith

Fri Nov 22 01:35:14 2002
Morris Philipson

Dear mentor and friend:

You taught in the University that the most fortunate students in the Western World had the great good luck to attend. Thus to all of us in this happy group you have been the exemplary scholar, the most generous thinker, the model of the civilized man. What a pleasure to speak of these things on the occasion of your 95th birthday, with boundless gratitude, admiration, and affection, from your devoted pupil,

Morris Philipson

Fri Nov 22 01:34:44 2002

You are a great man. Happy birthday !

Fri Nov 22 00:16:08 2002
Rafe Champion

Dear Jacques, happy birthday! I hope that the success of your latest book will stimulate people to read all the other ones!

You are about to get a special place on my website at: Jacques Barzun

Cheerio from Sydney,

Rafe Champion

Thu Nov 21 22:51:32 2002
Joe Istre

Monsieur Barzun:

Thanks for all the great works. I am slowly going through From Dawn to Decadence for the second time. It is a fine and enjoyable piece of work among others you wrote. Every so often, I must pick up the Jacques Barzun Reader for a good refreshing.

Merci Beaucoup,

Joe Istre
San Antonio, TX

Thu Nov 21 22:45:06 2002
Matthew E. Ferris

Mr. Barzun:

I have just days ago completed From Dawn to Decadence, and I cannot thank you enough for being such a wonderful guide through these 5 centuries. Your scholarship and care in this work, as well as many others, are a rich and rewarding legacy.
May you have a very happy birthday.

Matthew E. Ferris

Thu Nov 21 18:40:15 2002
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

Dear Jacques:

I miss our lunches. Unlike Herb London I never had a chance to sit in on your lectures or seminars but I did have those wonderfully stimulating lunches with you in New York from which I always left with a few good ideas and renewed ardor for scholarship and the arts. As I wrote in the Spectator's Christmas Books recommendations From Dawn to Decadence is a full intellectual course in itself. I read it slowly and dip back into it often.

Happy birthday, and by the way lest you think your counsel was futile take a look at my review of Mencken in the next Spectator. For three thousand or so words I make most of the detumescing points about Mencken that I think you wanted to hear.

Yours faithfully,

Thu Nov 21 17:36:34 2002
Richard Sonn

Dear Prof. Barzun,

Two weeks ago we finished reading The Modern Researcher in my graduate methods class. Today we finish From Dawn to Decadence in my European Intellectual History (coincidentally on my 53rd birthday). So books by Barzun have largely defined this semester. Best wishes on your birthday; you are a model of erudition, and a model to emulate.

Thu Nov 21 17:01:05 2002
Martin Meyerson

University Professor Jacques Barzun
Provost Emeritus, Columbia University

Dear Jacques:

How wonderful that the Hector Berlioz website is celebrating your 95th birthday! You are among the most significant intellects of the century just past. You were an unforgettable teacher for me. A great professor, great scholar, great critic, you have also been one of the great figures in American university education, highlighted by your achievements as the provost of Columbia University. As you know, we served together for many years on the Encyclopaedia Britannica editorial board.

At the American Philosophical Society a short time ago, I was able to reinforce the nomination of the Jacques Barzun award for a distinguished colleague. And it is through you that I first came to admire Hector Berlioz, who ever since has been one of my favorite composers.

I conclude this greeting with my comment which appeared in your book From Dawn to Decadence: “Unrivaled erudition. Solidly based, lucidly fashioned, with his usual eloquence...matches the French Encylopedists of the 18th Century as it traces the development of culture and social thought from the Renaissance to now….”

Happiness on your birthday, with many more to come.


Thu Nov 21 14:47:18 2002
James C. Morris

Happy Birthday, Professor Barzun!

Many years ago we exchanged letters about H. Berlioz's death. Your kindness—and the time you took—in dealing with an amateur has never been forgotten.

All our children benefited enormously from Simple & Direct. They were bribed to read and digest it—and it not only made their education easier, but their adult occupations carry your influence on to even more generations.

Your most recent masterpiece is, I tell all who will listen, nearly a university education in one volume, and should also be required consumption universally—with or without bribes.

Thank you for all you have done for all of us mere mortals, and I hope the following years bring you many blessings.

Again, Happy Birthday.

James C. Morris
Roanoke Va.

Thu Nov 21 14:46:41 2002
Max Hocutt Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, The University of Alabama

Dear Professor Barzun:

Congratulations on your 95th birthday, and thanks for using those years to give us thoughtful and learned works of such exquisite prose. You have added pleasure and profit to our lives. May the rest of your life be full of pleasure and profit!

Thu Nov 21 13:59:21 2002
Travis Beal Jacobs

Dear Professor Barzun,

My best for a Most Happy Birthday!

Over the summer I enjoyed reading and sharing with colleagues “What Is a School?” and “Trim The College.” Thank you. Also, I remain extremely grateful for your interest in my recent work.

Thank you and, again, Happy Birthday!

Travis Beal Jacobs

Thu Nov 21 01:20:33 2002
David Bernat

Dear Mr. Barzun,

I wish you a happy birthday. May it bring you as much pleasure as your books have brought to me.

Wed Nov 20 23:23:16 2002
Ralph Smith

Dear Jacques,

I'm happy to join so many others in wishing you a happy birthday. I am especially pleased that your acceptance of an invitation to write about the educational significance of Section One of Pascal's Pensées resulted in your fresh translation, which will be published in the January/February issue of Arts Education Policy Review. All Pascal admirers will be grateful.


Wed Nov 20 22:58:58 2002
Pepijn van Doesburg

Cher Monsieur Barzun,

Je n'鴡is pas l࠱uand votre 낥rlioz and the Romantic Century렡 contribu頠 changer l'attitude g鮩ral envers notre h鲯s dans les ann饳 50. Je n'en suis pas moins conscient que sans vous nous vivrions peut-괲e encore dans les t鮨bres berlioziennes, o頬es adeptes tel que moi ne trouveraient pas si ais頤e satisfaire leur curiosit鮠Je vous remercie beaucoup.

Wed Nov 20 20:47:25 2002
Kathy Mayer, San Antonio Symphony Education Director

Mr. Barzun:

Thank you so much for all you have given to the world. May you enjoy a very happy birthday knowing that many good wishes are being sent your way!

Kathy Mayer

Wed Nov 20 15:53:29 2002
Jay Arnold

Dear Mr. Barzun,

Through the erudition and generosity of your work, you have become my mentor both as thinker and writer. Thank you very much for a lifetime of hard work. Happy birthday.

Wed Nov 20 15:03:21 2002
James Trefil

Dear Jacques;

It's been many years since we worked together in the old Scribner's building, and I have followed your subsequent career with a mounting sense of awe and admiration. I can't wait for your next book. I still tell people how much I learned about the English language during our all too brief association. Happy Birthday and many happy returns.

—Jim Trefil

Wed Nov 20 05:56:45 2002
Bruce Purcell

Dear Dr Barzun,

Thanks for writing From Dawn to Decadence and The Modern Researcher and the Catalogue of Crime.

If you've got some notes left over, and you're thinking of a sequel to FDTD, some sort of 'Catalogue of Culture'—well, get on with it!

All the best.

Wed Nov 20 03:56:47 2002
Shawn Thuris

Dear Dr. Barzun,

You have my warmest wishes for your 95th birthday and my deepest gratitude for your prose, your thoughts and our occasional exchange of letters. (Sorry I missed your birthday last year!)

Directly though distantly owing to your advocacy of the Great Hector, I recently sang the tenor half of 𔄬Nuit d'ivresse” in Santa Monica, and I am working to present an all-vocal Berlioz concert with several young singers a year from now.

Your appearance on C-SPAN this year was a real delight. It is almost unknown that someone keep your level of preciseness without becoming cranky. At the risk of caricature, it sounds like the perfect match of French intellect and American optimism, thus putting a practical intellect to work for a guarded optimism.

Many thanks and best wishes,
Shawn Thuris
Santa Monica, CA

Wed Nov 20 00:35:47 2002
Michael Murray

Dearest Jacques,

Happy Birthday.

Love, Michael

Tue Nov 19 23:18:06 2002
Herb London

You will always be the teacher I most admired. Congratulations on this 95 birthday!

Tue Nov 19 20:28:35 2002
Marion E. Jemmott (Betty)

Dear Prof. Barzun:

Happy 95th Birthday and many thanks for all that you did to make Columbia University a better place for students to study, faculty to teach, and staff to administer!

Betty Jemmott, Secretary of the University (retired)

Tue Nov 19 19:29:35 2002
Erik Wensberg

Dear Jacques:

A great historian, teacher, and critic—you were already these in '55 when we met. I was nervous, briefly. We have gone on conversing ever since, in several settings, on countless subjects, through thick and thin, depending on which of those I was being at the moment. You have been extravagantly kind, generous, and helpful, deftly instructive and always wonderfully funny. Greetings and love on your birthday.


Tue Nov 19 19:06:15 2002
Robert Ivy

Dear Mr. Barzun,

Architects from throughout this country and around the world wish you a happy 95th anniversaire, and I wish that most had read your wonderful books.

Robert Ivy
Editor in Chief
Architectural Record

Tue Nov 19 17:43:17 2002
Wm. Theodore de Bary

Dear Jacques,

It is a great pleasure to learn that you have reached your 95th birthday. Recalling the many years that have passed since I first sat in your class on European Intellectual History in the fall of 1939, I am mindful of the extraordinary contributions you have made to learning since then, and especially to my own subsequent development as a scholar, teacher and administrator. You have always been there for me, whatever the need or the occasion. I hope the book I dedicated to you, The Trouble With Confucianism, is some small return on all you did for me.

Ted de Bary

Tue Nov 19 16:36:27 2002
Rudolph Binion

Dear Jacques,

We have been out of touch for ages. But I have never ceased feeling the deepest gratitude to you as my taskmaster and role model both. You may have the strongest reservations about the scholarly course I have pursued. But I'm sure you won't mind my saying I owe my career to you nonetheless. So: all my deepest congratulations for 30 November!


Tue Nov 19 15:20:29 2002
Flo (in Low) Grant

Dear Mr. B.,

It's been 30 yrs. since Douglass Hunt and I shared the 110 Low office suite with you and Virginia. I have such fond/amusing recollections of those days. CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS, THE 56TH ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR 39TH BIRTHDAY.

Love, Flo

Tue Nov 19 15:04:51 2002
Gerald Russello

Dr. Barzun:

I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York, where I was introduced to you by Edward Hines, your son's college roommate (and, as it happens, my father-in-law). Years prior to that, while in college, I had learned of John Jay Chapman through your edited collection, and he became one of my favorite American critics. I have enjoyed your writings for many years, and send you every good wish on your birthday.

Gerald J. Russello

Tue Nov 19 14:56:50 2002
Robert D. King

This is part of a speech I gave recently upon being inducted into the Distinguished Teaching Academy at the University of Texas at Austin:

When I left high school the idea of becoming a teacher, a college teacher—any kind of teacher—could not have been further from my mind. But I remember as clearly as I remember the details of childhood Christmases when that changed. A book did it: Teacher in America by Jacques Barzun. Published in 1945, I first ran across the book in 1959 when I was finishing up my master’s degree in math at Georgia Tech.

Reading Barzun’s book there was no “conversion experience,” no “epiphany” (a word I would not have known then). Nothing very great or deep happened beyond the tiniest realignment of a few molecules of the underside of my thinking about what I wanted to be, not memorable, hardly remembered. But Teacher in America planted a seed. And after much in between—study in Germany, serving in the army, working at Cape Canaveral—I knew that the college classroom is where I would be.

I have never consciously thought about my “philosophy” of teaching. I cannot ignore the fact that I am better at lecturing than I am at the other thing—the “Socratic method.” Gertrude Stein said of Ezra Pound that “he was a Village Explainer—nice if you're a village, not if you're not.” Well, no use denying it, I'm a Village Explainer: a pontificator, wordy, overbearing, insufferable. The miracle is that some students at least consider this good teaching.

“Teaching is not a lost art but the regard for it a lost tradition.” Jacques Barzun wrote that in 1945. Our Academy of Distinguished Teachers proves that he was wrong about this.

As you can see, I owe you a very great deal.

Robert D. King
Professor of Linguistics, German, and Asian Studies
Formerly Dean of Liberal Arts (1974–1993, more or less)
University of Texas at Austin

Tue Nov 19 13:55:12 2002
Bruce Edwards

Dear Dr. Barzun,

My wife, Alice, and I have enjoyed your book From Dawn to Decadence. It has brought us many pleasurable hours of reading and discussion.

With best wishes for your 95th birthday and many more!


Tue Nov 19 05:16:54 2002
Rev. Edward T. Oakes, S.J.

Dear Mr. Barzun:

As a Jesuit I have committed my life to educating young minds in the very best of the Western intellectual tradition, which really means that I teach your books every chance I get!

And so in gratitude for all you do and have done, I wish you many happy returns.

With great esteem,
Edward T. Oakes, S.J.

Tue Nov 19 04:22:19 2002
Christopher Wilkins

Dear Jacques:

I feel blessed to call you a friend. I am grateful for your habit of giving, always.

These greetings should support your idea that direct access from the internet would only increase the attention the world demands of you! Better to stick to the pen—it has served you well for the first 95 years!

Jacques: thank you for everything, most of all the pleasures you delight in sharing.

With deep appreciation and affection,
Christopher Wilkins

Tue Nov 19 03:46:25 2002
Jim Lawrence

Wishing you a very happy birthday. Your writings have helped to guide my learning. Thank you.

Tue Nov 19 02:45:47 2002
Charles Simkins

I still enjoy From Dawn to Decadence. It is still a great way to understand history. I love Berlioz, Carmen of course, but The Pearl Fishers has one of the most beautiful duets, I first heard it sung by a tenor and a baritone at a lunchtime performance, and had to rush out to buy the CD.

Best wishes,
Charles Simkins

Tue Nov 19 02:23:18 2002
Michael W. Brown

Happy Birthday! From Dawn to Decadence is one of my favorite Books. Thank you for explaining things the way you do!

Tue Nov 19 02:06:28 2002
Bart Leahy

Mr. Barzun:

I became aware of your books through science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle, and I have now read two—Teacher in America and From Dawn to Decadence. I have been very impressed with your writing and your ability to put large, complicated issues into plain language. You have done your readers a great service, and I wish you a grand birthday.

All the best,
Bart Leahy
Orlando, FL

Tue Nov 19 01:11:22 2002
Aleta Jackson

Dear Professor Barzun,

As a fan of both Hector Berlioz and you, I congratulate you on your birthday and wish you many happy returns of the day!

Your books have informed and inspired me, and you live constantly at my elbow in the form of Simple & Direct and Modern American Usage.

Thank you for your clear, logical and entertaining writing.

Aleta Jackson
XCOR Aerospace

Tue Nov 19 01:03:13 2002
Patricia-Ann Lee

Dear Professor Barzun,

You have given generations of students, myself among them, a model for great teaching (as well as plenty of instruction on good writing).

Thank you and best wishes on your birthday.

Patricia-Ann Lee

Tue Nov 19 00:45:44 2002
Andrew J. Grgurich

Dear Professor Barzun,

Please accept my best wishes on your 95th birthday!

You can look back on a long career of upholding the highest standards of scholarship. I've always received both pleasure and knowledge from all that you have written.

Yours truly,
Andrew J. Grgurich

Tue Nov 19 00:28:17 2002
Jerry E. Pournelle, Ph.D.

My best wishes and congratulations to someone who has influenced my entire educational life from Teacher in America (first edition) onwards. Many happy returns.

Jerry Pournelle

Mon Nov 18 23:44:25 2002
Henry J. Watkin

Dear Prof. Barzun:

Congratulations and heartfelt best wishes on this very happy occasion.

Please accept my thanks for all you have done for the cause of sound historical research and clear writing. Scholarship and all mankind owe you their gratitude and deepest respect.

May you continue your efforts for many years to come.

Henry J. Watkin

Mon Nov 18 23:34:05 2002
Harold M. Hyman

Professor Barzun:

A half-century ago this then-second year graduate student asked Allan Nevins, Dick Morris, and my mentor, Henry Commager, which of their colleagues whose lectures I must not dare miss. Each named you. And all three were correct. Thank you. And happy birthday indeed.

Harold M. Hyman

Mon Nov 18 23:14:29 2002
TJ Davis

Dear Professor Barzun,

Many happy returns and best wishes on your 95th birthday. Thanks for your great contributions to teaching the historian's craft and making Columbia's history department a place of excellence and intellect. You made a difference to me and many.

Mon Nov 18 22:48:21 2002
John Orens

Dear Jacques,

Best wishes on your 95th birthday. I will always be grateful to you for teaching me the historian's craft when I was a graduate student. And for defending the scholarly virtues of reason, honesty, and lucidity against the tyranny of cant and system, the house of intellect is forever in your debt.

John Orens

Mon Nov 18 22:03:20 2002
Robert Brustein

Dear Jacques,

I learned to write in your and Lionel's doctoral seminar more than a half century ago, and for that I will always be grateful. But you were not only a great teacher. Your contributions to intellectual history have been extraordinary.

A very happy birthday to you on your ninety-fifth.

With great esteem,
Robert Brustein

Mon Nov 18 18:29:58 2002
Thomas Guinsburg

Dear Prof. Barzun,

Some 43 years ago, C. Wright Mills recommended The House of Intellect to me as a “damn good piece of work, despite being written by the Provost.” I read it, and have treasured it and much else that you've written. Felicitations on your life's work and on this milestone.

Thomas Guinsburg

Mon Nov 18 16:48:06 2002
Emiliana P. Noether

Many happy returns of the day and wishes for many others. Thank you for having taught me—more than fifty years—that there are few limits to historical interests and curiosity. I am looking forward to your next book.

Mon Nov 18 16:19:20 2002
Robert Harrington

Best wishes on your 95th and thank you for 50 years of pleasure and inspiration in your writings.

Mon Nov 18 16:13:52 2002
Emanuel M. Papper

To Jacques Barzun,

All best wishes for your Birthday on 30 November (Pat's and My wedding anniversary also) coupled with very many affectionate feelings and much gratitude to you for your vast enlargement of appreciation for our ability to enjoy thinking and learning for so many of your eternal “students”.

As ever,
Manny Papper

Mon Nov 18 16:10:50 2002
Allan Megill

Dear Prof. Barzun,

What an amazing span—to have seen the draped statue of Strasbourg on the Place de la Concorde, and to have 95th birthday greetings on the Web. Your erudition, clarity, honesty, and unwillingness to just “go with the flow” are a constant inspiration.

Allan Megill

Mon Nov 18 16:09:33 2002
Tracy Lee Simmons

Dear Mr. Barzun,

Best Wishes on your 95th birthday this month. Your work stands on its own, but the example you've set has made the life of the mind and spirit so much more accessible and exciting for so many of us. We can never repay you. We can only salute you.

Tracy Lee Simmons

Mon Nov 18 15:36:35 2002
Thomas J. Archdeacon

Congratulations on your birthday. May you enjoy health and well-being. Thank you for your work as an historian and commentator on academics.

Mon Nov 18 15:05:08 2002
Marion Deshmukh

A very happy birthday to one of the most literary and prolific historians today. I continue to use your Darwin, Marx, Wagner volume with profit as well as your most recent From Dawn to Decadence—very stimulating and provocative. Happy Birthday and many returns of the day.

Mon Nov 18 02:33:22 2002
Donald Phillipson

Congratulations and best wishes for a very happy birthday. You have probably done twice as much work as any comparable scholar, and pleased and helped twice as many readers, so in old age I wish you twice the joy of your deserved eminence.

Sun Nov 17 12:30:11 2002
Max Weismann

Dear Jacques,

Although we've never met, I feel as though I know you because of all the times Mortimer would relate stories about you.

Have a wonderful birthday celebration.

Max Weismann, Cofounder with Mortimer Adler
Center for the Study of The Great Ideas

Sun Nov 17 02:43:06 2002
Mark Murphy

Dear Mr. Barzun:

I just reread your essay titled “A Copy Editor's Anthology” and hope you will accept best wishes from one who “earns one's bread by striking, slashing, changing.” And I hope I never become the kind of copy editor you wrote about. (You'll notice I did begin that sentence with “And.”) Thanks so much, especially for your essays on writing, for Simple & Direct and for Catalogue of Crime.

Mark Murphy

Sat Nov 16 16:28:39 2002
Max Frankel

A mere 50 years have passed since we last clasped hands to elevate the prose in Spectator. From such a lofty height, your witty concern for our craft became a mighty wind in my sail. Keep blowing, please.

Max Frankel

Fri Nov 15 23:06:24 2002
Robert Conquest

Jacques Barzun is the always-needed voice, and mind, of clarity,
common sense, learning and judgement—the whole adult tradition in
history and philosophy. And civilization itself, of which he is
today's paragon. It is an honor to join in honoring him on his

Robert Conquest

Fri Nov 15 19:12:42 2002
Carole Herbin

Dear Jacques,

Among your many and continuing accomplishments, I would like to thank you particularly for A Catalogue of Crime. The breadth of your talents is truly remarkable. Your name was mentioned reverentially on my daughter's first day at Columbia's doctoral program, and at the same time you were recommending “whodunits” to me. A very happy birthday to America's Renaissance Man.

Best wishes, Carole

Fri Nov 15 17:59:18 2002
Karen Allred Mitchell

Dear Prof. Barzun,

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and many more to come! Thank you for helping this student open the door to the world of Hector Berlioz.

Many happy regards—

Karen Allred

Fri Nov 15 17:25:46 2002
Thomas W. Parsons

Like so many, I've come to know Prof. Barzun through his books—Teacher in America, The House of Intellect, some of his writing on style, and of course From Dawn to Decadence. Every one is a jewel, and every one shows his flawless touch in matters of style, taste, and scholarship.

Happy birthday, Prof. Barzun, and I look forward to wishing you the same five, ten, fifteen,...years from now!

Tom Parsons

Fri Nov 15 12:25:50 2002
Robert K. Wallace

Happy birthday, Jacques. The more I teach and write, the more centrally you remain an inspiration. If you had not encouraged me, as a graduate student in literature, to write a dissertation on two musicians, I may never have entered into the interdisciplinary realms of scholarship that have been such a pleasure and challenge. Best wishes for all you are doing now. Bob

Thu Nov 14 21:49:44 2002
Eugene Goodheart

Happy birthday Jacques from Gene Goodheart. I had the pleasure of reviewing From Dawn to Decadence in Partisan Review. As I said in the review, “I hear once again the voice of a master teacher: erudite, incisive, witty and provocative.” I still hear your voice when I speak and write, trying hard to follow your counsel about the use of language. You are among the very few teachers who made a major contribution to my intellectual formation. I continue to be grateful for your support of me in graduate school and beyond. It's inspiring to see how productive you continue to be. I hope you are well and continue to write and instruct us. With appreciation and affection,


Thu Nov 14 21:14:48 2002
James Nichols

Happy birthday.

I am an aspiring cultural historian and fellow San Antonian who also happens to believe in literacy. Many returns of the day!


Thu Nov 14 19:31:33 2002
Sue Vernon (England)

Joyeux Anniversaire cher Monsieur Barzun. To us Berliozians all around the world you will see you are a legend and much loved. May I add my good wishes to theirs and thank you for all you have done for Berlioz and his music, long may you continue.

A very happy birthday to you sir,
Sue x

Thu Nov 14 16:41:50 2002
Jack Sullivan

Dear Jacques,

Your Berlioz book has always been my model of how to combine literary, musical, and cultural studies. I am also eternally grateful for your Berlioz translations in Words on Music. Congratulations! This is a great occasion, and I am very moved by it.

Jack Sullivan

Thu Nov 14 15:54:49 2002
Mark Arnest

Dear Mr. Barzun,

Happy birthday! I cannot thank you enough: Thirty years ago I read Romanticism and the Modern Ego, and its message has resonated through my life ever since.

—Mark Arnest
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Thu Nov 14 15:02:05 2002
Rose Glennon

Professor Barzun,

Happy Birthday, and thank you for your generosity in sharing your scholarship and genius with the San Antonio community. How fortunate we are to count you as a neighbor and a colleague!

Rose Glennon

Wed Nov 13 21:21:59 2002
Jean and Robert Flynn

Happy birthday, Jacques, and a hundred more. You have added much to our lives. Even more than Berlioz has. We hope this is the best birthday ever.

Jean and Robert Flynn

Wed Nov 13 18:15:26 2002
David Middleton

Dear Jacques,

Your coming with Marguerite to San Antonio has been a gift. As much as I've enjoyed seeing you launch From Dawn to Decadence here and pitch in supportively to help the symphony, I value our lunches even more highly. Meeting you is always an inspiration.

Birthday Greetings indeed! Be well, be happy.

David Middleton

Tue Nov 12 22:57:09 2002
Adrian Brown A.R.A.M.

As a devoted Berlioz admirer for some thirty-five years, and having conducted most of his works, I thank you for all you have done for the great composer. Warmest congratulations on your birthday.

Tue Nov 12 19:51:58 2002
Mahinda Weerasinghe

Dear Mr Barzun,

Your critical work Darwin, Marx, Wagner had a crucial influence on me in the early 80ties. It helped clear my thoughts when formulating the recently issued work Origin of Species According to the Buddha.. I would very much wish to send you a copy but I do not know your address. Attached with this e-mail I am forwarding a reply I gave in a Sri Lankan paper “The Island” (on 10th Nov.) to a professor who critically reviewed this work. I believe you would find it very interesting.

Life Mr Barzun is “but a sensory journey”. I wish you good health and all the best on your 95th birthday.

Yours faithfully,
Mahinda Weerasinghe

Tue Nov 12 19:20:20 2002
David Hodgdon

Dear Professor Barzun:

Best wishes on your birthday. I am especially pleased to send this message since I have recently had the good fortune to handle, read and admire a letterpress edition of Lincoln, the literary genius (1960). Reading the essay felt to me like a song was being sung, long passages of which I seemed already to know.

The book itself was made by Ward Schori at his press in Evanston, Illinois.

Looking over the greetings to you which precede mine surely recapitulates intellectual and aesthetic history as it is was learned and lived by many Americans. I add my message to this tribute.

David Hodgdon
Laureate Press

Tue Nov 12 18:25:28 2002
Donna Hildreth

Thank you for your dedicated scholarship and the inspiration it has provided to so many. Your book From Dawn to Decadence is a beacon of hope and sanity in a postmodern world. Many thanks.

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous Birthday,
Donna Hildreth

Tue Nov 12 03:00:39 2002
Steve Hayes

I've recommended your Modern Researcher to many students. Have a good one.

Tue Nov 12 00:18:23 2002
Alison H. Lemer

Happy Bar Mitzvah! The reception was lovely.

Warm regards &c.

Mon Nov 11 21:24:37 2002
William Keylor

Dear Jacques,

It gives me the greatest pleasure to have the opportunity to send you my warmest best wishes for your 95th birthday. I still treasure the memories of your “mentorship” at Columbia in that turbulent period of the late 1960s and early 1970s. I have made every effort in the course of my teaching and writing career to heed the famous Barzun admonition: “keep it simple and direct.” You have set an example for us all.

Best wishes,
Bill Keylor

Mon Nov 11 18:29:48 2002
Thomas Vinciguerra

Dear Jacques,

This is a lovely milestone indeed. My warmest and best wishes for a wonderful 95th birthday. You are a singular exemplar of intellectual rigor, boundless erudition and superlative prose. To you we are much beholden.

Thomas Vinciguerra

Mon Nov 11 18:02:08 2002
Steve Sheppard

Dear Professor Barzun,

After years of law school and graduate school, spent developing increasingly dire prose, your Simple & Direct not only taught me to write but also gave me a very special key to unlock this door for my own students. I offer my thanks for that and for your many wonderful essays and books and wish you a happy birthday.

Steve Sheppard, Philolexian

Mon Nov 11 17:49:10 2002
Kenneth Ehrenberg

Warmest Philolexian felicitations on your continued fecundity.

Hold Fast to the Spirit of Youth.
Let Years to Come do What they May.

Mon Nov 11 16:45:55 2002
David Charlton

Dear Professor Barzun,

It was an honour to be able to both see and hear you at the Smith College conference in 2000; and although you cannot be at our London conference in a few days' time, we shall be drinking your health all the same, and remembering, with affection, the great debt we all owe you.

Thank you, and many happy returns!

Mon Nov 11 01:56:16 2002
Hugh Macdonald

Dear Jacques,

I am so happy to send you warmest birthday greetings, thinking as always how deeply indebted we all are to your long labors and inspiring work on Berlioz's behalf.

With all best wishes,


Sat Nov 9 23:11:31 2002
John Nelson

Dear Mr. Barzun,

What a pleasure to wish you Happy Birthday on your 95th! Hector would write you an arrangement of Happy Birthday were he alive. There is no one who has done more for him in the 20th century than you, and we Berlioz lovers are enormously grateful.

I am conducting Berlioz everywhere in 2003 and will record CELLINI with Alagna around Dec. 11 in Paris. What joy it would be to have you here! I will try to see you personally in February when I'm in the U.S. It would be a privilege to relive the short TROJAN moment we had together in New York 30 years ago.

All the best and warmest of wishes,
John Nelson

Sat Nov 9 15:00:17 2002
Kenneth T. Jackson

Dear Jacques,

I remember reading the Columbia Graduate School catalogue in the fall of 1960 and noticing that Jacques Barzun was on the history faculty. Gosh, I thought, that history department is obviously special. And so it was. Over the years, your reputation for honesty and erudition has only grown, so that you remain a national treasure.

Ken Jackson

Sat Nov 9 10:17:57 2002
Mike Joyce

Professor Barzun,
Your championing of Berlioz has been the keystone of the World's re-awakening to his genius over the last half century. Through your words the man and his music fight on. For this, in my small way, I thank you and wish you everything you wish for yourself on your birthday.

Sat Nov 9 02:21:19 2002
Leo Wong

Dear Jacques,

Your name will be forever associated with that of Hector Berlioz. In your teaching and writing you have helped to reveal his century and ours. How fortunate we are that you remain with us into the 21st century—how happy that the recognition that came belatedly to our great composer has come to you in your lifetime. Mille félicitations.


Sat Nov 9 02:17:18 2002
Mary Murphy

Dear JB:

Once upon a time, as a clerk in the Columbia Office of Public Information under John Hastings and Fred Knubel, I came across a photo of you on the stage of the Macmillan Theater with Lionel Trilling and T.S. Eliot. I now see that you are on the stage of the Majestic Theater with the San Antonio Symphony. As one storyteller to another, I salute you!

Mary Murphy

Fri Nov 8 21:11:25 2002
Katherine Kolb

Dear Jacques,

It is a joy to be part of the chain of well-wishers greeting you on your ninety-fifth birthday, and an honor to be counted among your friends. As I read these messages from your many admirers, feeling kinship with them all, it occurs to me that among your many gifts to the world, you have sown friendship...

With all fondest wishes to you and Marguerite,

Fri Nov 8 00:15:43 2002
Roger Ruggeri

Warmest greetings to you on your birthday! Am reading From Dawn to Decadence with relish and constantly growing appreciation of your marvelously insightful work. Bravo!


Thu Nov 7 22:26:12 2002
Fritz Stern

Dear Jacques,

Warmest congratulations! And all thanks once again. I wish you were here—for a NY celebration and in general.

Affectionate regards,
as ever,
P.S. I don't much like this form of communication!

Thu Nov 7 17:32:38 2002
Dianne Sachko Macleod

Dear Professor Barzun,

It was my great honor to be awarded a prize in cultural history in your name. The breadth of your work is a constant source of inspiration to me and my students. Many happy returns on your 95th and I look forward to congratulating you on your 100th.

Dianne Sachko Macleod
Art History
University of California, Davis

Thu Nov 7 16:59:12 2002
Art Cowles

Celebrating my own 84th (November2) by conducting a 14-week class of forty seniors at the University of Arizona on, you guessed it, From Dawn to Decadence. Bless you for adding to my own longevity.

Art Cowles, Tucson, Arizona

Thu Nov 7 09:28:03 2002
John Beech

Sincere congratulations on your 95 th. birthday. Long may you continue to champion Hector Berlioz, whose cause owes so much to you!

Thu Nov 7 05:04:14 2002
John Hollander

Dear Jacques,

Your birthday brings with it the additional pleasure of providing the occasion for expressing, along with my felicitations, my immense gratitude for all you have taught me, from the page and viva voce, and for so many years. I look forward to being able to continue to learn from you, and to celebrate as I do today.

Admiringly and affectionately,

Thu Nov 7 03:07:50 2002
Jonathan Rose

Dear Prof. Barzun,

You have my warmest best wishes. And keep punching!

Jonathan Rose

Wed Nov 6 21:46:49 2002
Diane Ravitch

Dear Jacques Barzun,

You have been an inspiration for many people during your lifetime, and your influence extends way beyond those who were lucky enough to be your students. I count myself as one who has read and enjoyed your books time and again.

Many happy returns on your birthday!

Diane Ravitch

Wed Nov 6 19:39:28 2002
Anne Fadiman

Dear Jacques,

It's been one of the greatest honors of my life to see your words in The American Scholar.

I can't think of a single person my father admired more than you. I wish he were around to add his birthday congratulations to my own.

Anne Fadiman

Wed Nov 6 10:41:36 2002
Jean Stipicevic

Dear Dr. Barzun,

It's been an honor being a part of the Scholar's history that includes so much of your work. Best wishes, Jean Stipicevic (and my husband, John, sends his greetings as well)

Wed Nov 6 10:22:06 2002
Jim Page

My Berlioz enthusiasm was sparked off by Thomas Beecham's performances and I was given Berlioz and the Romantic Century as a wedding present from my wife in 1959 and it has frequently come off the shelf since! My greetings and congratulations to you on achieving such a milestone.

Jim Page

Wed Nov 6 03:04:26 2002

To Jacques

Wishing you a very happy Birthday, have fun. 


Wed Nov 6 02:40:05 2002
David Gershom Myers

Professor Barzun,

Your 95th birthday is reason to celebrate for all who care deeply about literature and learning. You have given us—you have stood for—so much for so long. God bless you! And may this be a regular celebration for many years to come!

Tue Nov 5 23:16:48 2002
Craig Kridel

Dear Mr. Barzun:

Best wishes on your ninety-fifth birthday. Thank you so much for autographing THE biography and for the wonderful reflection on Teacher in Amerca.

Most cordially,
Craig Kridel

Tue Nov 5 22:39:28 2002
Olivia Wong

Dear Mr. Jacques Barzun,

Happy Birthday! I love opera and musicals on DVD. My fifth grade teacher from last year has also moved to Texas. Best wishes to you and to Mrs. Barzun.


Tue Nov 5 21:08:30 2002
Joseph Epstein

Dear Jacques,

Best wishes on your ninety-fifth birthday. And thank you for all the pleasure and intellectual profit your writing has given me over so many years.


Tue Nov 5 17:00:00 2002
Dorothy A. Flood, CSJ

Dear Mr. Barzun,
I am reading From Dawn to Decadence which was a gift from Leo Wong, my niece's husband. I am a retired music (piano) teacher at College level and I received my Doctorate (ED.D) from Columbia Teachers College. I would like to add my sincere wishes for a Happy Birthday and I hope you will celebrate all month.

Tue Nov 5 15:30:04 2002
Gabor Boritt

Dear Jacques,

Happy Birthday. I look forward to celebrating your 100th.

With admiration and wonder.

Gabor Boritt

Tue Nov 5 13:42:52 2002
Richard and Janet Macnutt

Dear Jacques

We are temporarily in Australia but do not want to miss this opportunity of congratulating you on reaching yet another great landmark. May the remaining five years of your first century be happy and healthy ones, and please continue to produce prose to stimulate all of us.

With our love to you both and renewed congratulations

Richard and Janet

Tue Nov 5 04:21:24 2002
Mark Halpern

Dear Mr Barzun,

I look forward to wishing you Happy Birthday on your 100th, and to congratulating you on the book that you will, I trust, be publishing that year! (My Barzun bookshelf, starting from The French Race at the left to From Dawn to Decadence at the right, has space for several more volumes, which I depend on you to fill.)

In the meantime, I know I speak for many when I send my very best wishes for your continued good health and happiness!

Mark Halpern

Mon Nov 4 20:12:36 2002
John Wrzesien

Congratulations on your 95th birthday.

I would like to thank you for the intellectual odyssey you launched with Darwin, Marx, Wagner, which I first read back in the 60's. Your writing has enriched my life as much as Berlioz's music.

For all the riches you have brought into my life, thank you.

John Wrzesien

Mon Nov 4 16:30:26 2002
Christian Wasselin

Cher Jacques Barzun, je vous souhaite un excellent anniversaire par delࠬes oc顮s. Nous sommes tr賠heureux, Pierre-Ren頓erna et moi, de vous compter au sommaire du num鲯 des Cahiers de l'Herne consacr頠 Berlioz, qui paraa dans quelques mois. Que les sentiments les plus chaleureux de tous les amoureux de Berlioz qui habitent en France vous parviennent par ce message. Christian Wasselin.

Mon Nov 4 14:39:39 2002
William A. Verdone

You have blazed the highest trails of enlightenment in your books and in your commitment to understanding an astonishingly creative composer in Hector Berlioz. As with the Colossus of Rhodes, the torch you have lit has become the beacon for others to follow; and the pursuit of the understanding and appreciation of Berlioz you share with us is a testament to the great light that shines within you; you, sir, are a truly inspiring teacher. The happiest of birthdays and the best of continuing good health.

Mon Nov 4 13:51:52 2002
John Ahouse

From the Columbia undergraduate who took up five minutes of your time in 1956 to tell you about the Berlioz festival he was planning on the student radio station, warmest congratulations for your 95th and the approaching Berlioz year of 2003. Within the limited technology of WKCR at that time, the festival took place over five evenings, airing everything then available on recordings; and we were proud to know of your support.

Sat Nov 2 14:52:06 2002
Gene Halaburt

Stokowski signed a six year contract with CBS when he was 94. May I hope your contract with your publishers has many years to run before it expires! My introduction to Berlioz's music was brought about by the old Fournet 78's of the “Requiem” in the 50's. My introduction to Berlioz the man follwed shortly with your epic two volume work. It accompagnied me to Paris as a student in 1956 and allowed me to see and visit many of the locations the great man had known during his life. A belated, but very sincere 'thank you' for the knowledge and joy your scholarship has brought me. “Joyeux anniversaire!”

—Gene Halaburt
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

The Jacques Barzun Centennial