Cambridge University is celebrating its 800th anniversary in 2009. The official history tells the tale of the buildings; but what about the ideas?
Down through the years, Oxford has produced many powerful men and Cambridge many iconoclasts – scientists, philosophers and revolutionaries. The polarisation is by no means total: Oxford's alumni include the reformer John Wyclif and the father of economics Adam Smith, while ours include the Prime Minister Charles Grey, who abolished slavery and passed the Great Reform Bill. But we've long produced more of the rebels; way back in the Civil War, for example, we were parliamentarian while Oxford was royalist. Why should this be?
Read on for the rest of this splendidly iconoclastic history of Cambridge University by Ross Anderson, a man who managed a fair bit of iconoclasm in his undergraduate days, as I recall.... (Via John Naughton.)