Biography of Jeffrey Hart
Jeffrey Peter Hart (b. April 22, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York) and raised in New York, New York, is a cultural critic, professor emeritus of English at Dartmouth College, essayist, and columnist who lives in New Hampshire, United States. After two years as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, he transferred to Columbia University, where he obtained his A.B. (1952) and Ph.D., both in English literature.
During the Korean War he served in U.S. Naval Intelligence, in Boston.
A professor of English literature at Dartmouth for three decades (1963–1993), Hart specialized in 18th century literature but also had a fondness for modernist literature. He was popular with the students, from whom he required a great deal of writing. His political apostasy annoyed his faculty colleagues: when they were concerned about fossil fuels he made it a point to commute to campus in a Cadillac limousine; he might have a mechanical hand drum the table when faculty meetings were too long.
In 1962 he joined William F. Buckley's conservative journal National Review as a book reviewer, requiring a trip from Hanover, New Hampshire to New York every other week. Later, he would contribute as a writer and senior editor for the better part of the ensuing three decades even as he fulfilled his teaching responsibilities as a professor at Dartmouth. He is still a contributor with the magazine.
Hart took a leave of absence from Dartmouth in 1968 to work for the abortive presidential campaign of Governor of California Ronald Reagan. This role led to brief service as a White House speechwriter for Richard Nixon.
After nomination by his former student Reggie Williams, Hart was honored with his college's Outstanding Teaching Award, 1992. He has also received the Young America's Foundation Engalitcheff Prize, 1996, among other academic accolades. In 1998, he served as a visiting lecturer at Nichols College.
The Dartmouth Review was founded in his living room in 1980, and he has served as an adviser to it since then.
He wrote a regular column for King Features Syndicate and retired from teaching.
Lately, he has launched a fierce Burkean critique of the policies of President of the United States George W. Bush in the pages of the American Conservative, the Washington Monthly, and The Wall Street Journal. Hart supported John Kerry in the 2004 election and Barack Obama in 2008.