Professor Michael Rosenthal to Discuss New Biography of Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler

NEW YORK, January 18, 2006 The Friends of the Columbia Libraries will sponsor a talk and book signing next month by Michael Rosenthal, Roberta and William Campbell Professor in the Teaching of Literature Humanities at Columbia University and author of a new biography of Columbia’s longest-serving president, Nicholas Murray Butler. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, in the Faculty Room of Low Memorial Library. The talk is free and open to the public, and will be hosted by James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian.

Nicholas Miraculous Postcard

Professor Rosenthal will discuss his new biography, entitled Nicholas Miraculous: The Amazing Career of the Redoubtable Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, and will respond to questions from the audience. The book explores Butler’s larger-than-life career and personality, from his dominant position as University President from 1902 to 1945, to his ambitions for leadership in the Republican Party, to his high-profile campaign for international education and arbitration—work for which he shared the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. Rosenthal captures the complicated mixture of self-promotion, genuine talent and autocratic will that made Butler a national institution during his era, but a largely forgotten figure today. The book will be published this month by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

A book signing and a reception will follow the program from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Copies of Nicholas Miraculous will be available for sale. The Faculty Room is located on the first floor of Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library, 2950 Broadway at 116th Street.

Rosenthal serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies at Columbia and is a recipient of the Mark Van Doren award for Excellence in Teaching. He writes and teaches on British literature and culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is the author of a biography of Virginia Woolf and The Character Factory: Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts and the Imperatives of Empire.

For more information regarding this event or to attend, please respond to or call 212-854-4768. To view other book-related events at Columbia, visit the Columbia University Bookstore’s website.

The Friends of the Columbia Libraries aim to cultivate an informed interest in and support for the Columbia Libraries. The Friends foster the growth and improvement of the Libraries through financial and in-kind gifts and provide opportunities for creating, collecting, and preserving library materials. The Friends also promote the visibility of the Libraries through sponsorship of educational and social events.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

01/18/06 ICL