Barzun made his students feel that what they wanted to achieve was possible, and was an enabler. Lionel Trilling’s high standards, in contrast, could be discouraging. Barzun was an educator in the literal sense of the word: educere, “to lead out.” For that generations of students are indebted to him.

Jeffrey Hart’s essay on Jacques Barzun, in our November issue, is available here.

Today we join Professor Hart, Robert McHenry at Britannica Blog, and many others in celebrating the 100th birthday of Barzun, the great Columbia University teacher and writer.