Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1991


Published in Great Plains Research 1:2 (August 1991), pp. 347–348. Copyright © 1991 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


While teaching at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Ludy Benjamin discovered that the first psychology professor at the University of Nebraska gained a place in the history of experimental psychology in the United States. Harry K. Wolfe received a doctorate from the University of Leipzig, where he studied with Wilhelm Wundt (one of the founders of experimental psychology). In 1889 Wolfe established the first undergraduate psychology laboratory in the United States. Benjamin has written this interesting and readable book about a great teacher. The story includes the saga of academic life at a fledgling public university, one man's experience of the debate between rational and empirical knowledge of man, an account of the fragility of academic freedom, and a compelling description of a scholar who made students a high priority.