The Prior of our convent of Ss. Sixtus and Clement here in Rome recently found a small booklet from 1960 by the famous American Thomist, Fr. James A. Weisheipl, OP. The pamphlet, entitled The Place of Study in the Ideal of St. Dominic argues for the centrality--and the uniqueness--of the life of study in the Dominican Order. In Fr. Weisheipl's words:
Dominic had a new conception of religious life. Its purpose was the preaching of sacred doctrine and the salvation of souls. The sublime office of preacher had never before been the goal of any Order. Preaching belonged by divine right to bishops, the authoritative teachers of sacred doctrine. Dominic was given authority to establish preaching as the goal of his Order by the universal bishop of Christendom, the Holy Father. In order to attain such a goal, Dominic took the three means he knew as a Canon Regular, namely solemn vows, regular life with its monastic observances and solemn recitation of the divine office. To these the added the new element of study; this was necessitated by the special goal of preaching. Study, therefore, was the new feature in St. Dominic's way of life.
You can read a Google Docs version of the PDF by clicking here: The Place of Study in the Ideal of St. Dominic.
UPDATE: I removed the embedded document, as (at least on my browser) the page would automatically scroll down to this document, making it the first image you saw when you opened the blog.