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Microcosmographia Academica

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Subtitle: Cambridge's Classic Guide to Success in the World
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 28th 1995 by Ares Publications (Chicago) (first published 1908)
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Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's funny that an essay from 1908 is still so relevant today. I've seen many examples of the Principle of the Wedge ("you should not act justly now for fear of raising expectations that you may act still more justly in the future") and, in particular, the Principle of the Dangerous Precedent:
"... you should not now do an admittedly right action for fear you, or your equally timid successors, should not have the courage to do right in some future case, which, ex hypothesi, is essentially
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is equally disturbing and hilarious to see that academic life has not changed much.
Ben Shee
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clever, scathing stuff that reflects what is probably the opinion of many people of the operation of democratic Westminster bicameral systems parliaments. Enjoy with a good laugh, masking annoyance at the inefficiencies of free government.
Peter Keller, president of polling company YouGov has chosen to discuss F M Cornford's Microcosmographia Academica , on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject - British Democracy, saying that:

"This wonderfully elegant Edwardian satire is really a passionate demand for honest politics. Cornford was a Cambridge academic and he wrote this very short book, not much more than a pamphlet, on university politics. In fact it is a wonderful satire on all politics."

The full interview is
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Mr. Cornford's more generalised comments and wisdom are striking, witty, and very on-point. However his delving into political affiliations and political convictions is not really of my interest. I do gather, however, that this was primarily geared towards a 'Young Politician' i cannot fault him excessively; however it is this focus which prevented this otherwise interesting short piece from being something that would have universal appeal. In summary, an interesting read.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't think I get it. Seems like a satire on all politics.
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1874-1943. Classicist

Cornford was educated at St Paul's School and was admitted to Trinity in 1893, being elected a Scholar the following year. Cornford obtained firsts in both parts of the classical tripos in 1905 and 1907; he was awarded the Chancellor's Classical Medal in the latter year. In 1897 he applied for the Chair of Greek at Cardiff, but was unsuccessful. However, in 1899 he was elected
“There is only one argument for doing something; the rest are arguments for doing nothing” 4 likes
“Cynicism is the besetting and venial fault of declining youth, and disillusionment its last illusion.” 0 likes
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