Jeffrey Peter Hart (born April 22, 1930) is an American cultural critic, essayist, columnist, and Professor Emeritus of English at Dartmouth College.
Life and career
Hart was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After two years as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, he transferred to Columbia University, where he joined the Philolexian Society and obtained his A.B. (1952) and Ph.D., both in English literature.
During the Korean War he served in U.S. Naval Intelligence, in Boston.
After a short period teaching at Columbia, Hart became Professor of English literature at Dartmouth for three decades (1963–1993). Hart specialized in 18th century literature but also had a fondness for modernist literature. He was popular with the students, from whom he required a great deal of writing. His political apostasy annoyed his faculty colleagues: when they were concerned about fossil fuels he made it a point to commute to campus in a Cadillac limousine; he might have a mechanical hand drum the table when faculty meetings were too long.
In 1962 he joined William F. Buckley's conservative journal National Review as a book reviewer, requiring a trip from Hanover, New Hampshire to New York City every other week. Later, he would contribute as a writer and senior editor for the better part of the ensuing three decades even as he fulfilled his teaching responsibilities as a professor at Dartmouth. He is still a contributor with the magazine.
Hart took a leave of absence from Dartmouth in 1968 to work for the abortive presidential campaign of Governor of California Ronald Reagan. This role led to brief service as a White House speechwriter for Richard Nixon. After nomination by his former student Reggie Williams, Hart was honored with his college's Outstanding Teaching Award, 1992. He has also received the Young America's Foundation Engalitcheff Prize, 1996, among other academic accolades. In 1998, he served as a visiting lecturer at Nichols College.
The Dartmouth Review was founded in his living room in 1980, and he has served as an adviser to it since then. He wrote a regular column for King Features Syndicate and retired from teaching. He currently lives in New Hampshire.
In recent years, he has launched a fierce Burkean critique of the policies of President of the United States George W. Bush in the pages of the American Conservative, the Washington Monthly, and The Wall Street Journal. Hart supported John Kerry in the 2004 election and Barack Obama in 2008.
- Burke, Edmund (1964). Jeffrey Hart, ed. Speech on conciliation with the Colonies. Edited, with an introductory essay by Jeffrey Hart. A Gateway edition. Chicago: H. Regnery Co. OCLC 1116479. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- Hart, Jeffrey Peter (1964). Political writers of eighteenth-century England (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- Hart, Jeffrey Peter (1965). Viscount Bolingbroke, Tory humanist. London: Routledge & K. Paul. OCLC 401312. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- When the Going was Good: Life in the Fifties (1982)
- From This Moment On: America in 1940 (1987)
- Hart, Jeffrey Peter (1989). Acts of recovery : essays on culture and politics. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England. ISBN 0-87451-504-1. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
In honor of Lionel Trilling
- Hart, Jeffrey (2000-10-13). "Dartmouth review is of the utmost importance". Arlington, Virginia: Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe: Toward the Revival of Higher Education (2001)
- The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times (2006)
- Hart, Jeffrey (2007-06-16). "The Decade That Roared - These works are essential to appreciating American literature of the 1920s.". Opinion Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Hart, Jeffrey (2007-12-27). "The Burke Habit - Prudence, skepticism and "unbought grace."". Opinion Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
Without a deep knowledge of history, policy analysis is feckless.