Nicholas I

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The excerpts from Michael Rosenthal’s new biography of Nicholas Murray Butler published in this issue explore the political ambitions of the longtime Columbia University president. One theme that emerges is Butler’s near obsession with “Americanism,” especially during the 1920 presidential campaign. Still, that didn’t keep Butler from being a great Anglophile all his life. On June 10, 1939, Butler greeted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their brief visit to Columbia. He escorted them into Low Library, where the royal charter for King’s College, which George II had issued in 1754, was on display. According to Rosenthal, “Butler offered his official greetings, George admired the charter, and then the royal couple signed the University guest book.Within a half hour, they were off by car to Hyde Park to spend time with President Roosevelt.”