Until now, the two most highly regarded books on Newman’s treatment of the subject were Fergal McGrath’s Newman’s University: Idea and Reality (1951) and Dwight Culler’s The Imperial Intellect: A Study of Newman’s Educational Ideal (1955). Now, in The ‘Making of Men,’ Paul Shrimpton contends that past studies of Newman’s educational achievement have suffered from failing to take into account the full scope of Newman’s educational endeavors, and he has written his own book to rectify that.
Deeply researched and persuasively argued, The ‘Making of Men’ is a major contribution to our understanding of Newman’s commitment to university education. It will enliven and refine all future discussions of the subject by encouraging readers to revisit not only Newman’s classic text but the practical challenges he addressed—first as fellow of Oxford’s Oriel College, and then as rector of the Catholic University in Dublin. Shrimpton draws on Newman’s copious correspondence and memoranda, as well as “accounts ledgers, buttery records, punishments books, timetables, rules and regulations, prospectuses, minute books, reports of all types, and a host of other documents,” all of which give The ‘Making of Men’ an admirable richness.