And I wonder who his English prof was, what he did his dissertation on &c.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ken Armstrong 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2012 8:39 AM
  Subject: Re: Obama on Eliot

   Sorry, Tim,  had to clock into my afternoon job. I'm sure you've got his age now from the links posted, for which thanks to you and Rick. As a good graduate student's effort might be expected to, Obama's reading affects to outdistance its actual reach and is, as noticed, inflated and cliched. But still it's based in some serious consideration, more interesting I think for its reflection on Obama than on Eliot. Which is not a criticism, just an observation of where its better value lies. On Eliot I think Brooker is right about the supposed "reactionary dichotomy," TSE exhibits, though I do like Obama's distinction regarding types of conservatives and bourgeois liberalism. 

   I wonder how many other presidents gave that much attention to studying TSE, in or out of grad school?

  Ken A

  On 5/4/2012 3:29 PM, Materer, Timothy J. wrote: 
On May 4, 2012, at 1:45 PM, Ken Armstrong wrote:

Fascinating. Any idea which reactionary dichotomy is intended?

 there’s a certain kind of conservatism which I respect more than bourgeois liberalism—Eliot is of this type. Of course, the dichotomy he maintains is reactionary, but it’s due to a deep fatalism, not ignorance.

The whole comment strikes me as quite intelligent even though he's working with the cliches of the time. (Ken, what's the date?) His comment on conservatism seem fair since he seems to mean that Eliot's conservatism was principled and not simply a desire to protect the prosperity of the upper middle.