Lasting Impressions

Harvard's largest single bequest before 1950 was made by the shoe machinery inventer-entrepreneur Gordon-McKay. Even today, many of Harvard's computer science chairs bear his name. Yet he was only one of many prominent Bostonians who made their city the world capital of shoe manufacture a hundred years ago. The trust he helped organize, United Shoe Machinery (USM), was as admired and as controversial then as Microsoft is today.

Selected Works

Humanity remaking itself through technology
The self-cancelling, self-frustrating side of human ingenuity, and what to do about it.
Magazine Articles
A review of James R. Chiles, Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology in Harvard Magazine
How sitting customs have affected the human body
Are big structures harbingers of decline?
Harvard's debt to the shoe industry
The Harvard Society of Fellows, a history and personal appreciation
The U.S. military-industrial complex's surprising debt to France.