Donaldkagan_1 Elenakagan_1

In his Introduction to Ancient Greek History course, former Yale College Dean Donald Kagan dramatizes the role of citizen-soldier hoplites by having students form a phalanx.  He relates that such phalanxes often drifted to the right as they marched towards the enemy, sometimes passing the opposing phalanx as it, too, trended to starboard.

Why?  The professor explains that the hoplite on the extreme right of the front line — the "position of honor" — felt the exposure of a shield that covered only the left half of his body.  He unconsciously compensated by stepping slightly rightward, thus leading the whole phalanx on a diagonal.

Blawgletter mentions the story only partly because it likes stories.  No, Blawgletter also wants to raise a question about another famous Kagan — Elena Kagan, ex-Clinton official and judicial nominee, current Dean of the Harvard Law School, and Blawgletter’s favorite to become the next President of Harvard University.  (Derek Bok, the predecessor of Larry Summers as Harvard President, also served as HLS Dean before taking the top job.) 

Do ties of kinship connect Harvard Dean Kagan with Yale Dean Kagan?  And if so why doesn’t the former share the latter’s rightward political tendencies?

Blawgletter doesn’t know the answers.  Do you?

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