Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-ix

This book would not have been possible without the guidance of Julie Reuben, who has provided encouragement and constructive comments throughout this process. I have been blessed by her advising. I am also grateful . . .

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Introduction: Academic Populism

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pp. 3-17

In the fall of 1895, the University of Chicago sacked Edward Bemis, a controversial sociology professor who supported labor unions and public ownership of utilities. While editorializing about Bemis’s fate, . . .

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1. Preludes to Populism: Anti-Elitism and Higher Education, 1820–1885

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pp. 18-34

In 1877, the regents of the University of the State of New York warned that meddlesome politicians might pervert institutions of higher education. “Happy is the community,” concluded the regents, whose colleges . . .

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2. Scaling the Gilded Halls of the University: Populism and Campus Politics

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pp. 35-60

The Populist movement celebrated the virtue of citizens who hailed from outside of privileged circles. The Nebraska Independent, for instance, paid tribute to members of the hardscrabble “lower classes,” who . . .

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3. The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number: Populism and Academic Access

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pp. 61-82

In November 1897, Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC) president Thomas E. Will received a letter from William Coleman, a thirty-three-year- old manufacturer of hosiery. Although Coleman had . . .

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4. Looking Forward: Populism and Economic Access

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pp. 83-100

During the late nineteenth century, the idea of mass higher education could seem like a distant fantasy. In his utopian novel Looking Backward (1887), Edward Bellamy imagined that it would take over . . .

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5. Producers and Parasites: The Populist Vision of College Curriculum

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pp. 101-125

In 1899, during the final throes of the Populist movement, Thorstein Veblen argued that wealthy Americans favored the traditional college curriculum because it epitomized the luxury of “wasted time.” According to . . .

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6. The Tastes of the Multitude: Populism, Expertise, and Academic Freedom

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pp. 126-146

In April 1897, when the fusionist governing board of Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC) replaced several veteran professors, student editors at the University of Kansas (KU) “shudder[ed] at the spectacle . . .

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7. Watchdogs of the Treasury: Populism and Public Funding for Higher Education

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pp. 147-166

In 1887, President Samuel S. Laws of the University of Missouri learned of the demise of “Emperor,” the second largest elephant in captivity. Convinced that the circus elephant could become the centerpiece for . . .

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Conclusion

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pp. 167-181

Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC) never named a building in honor of Thomas E. Will—he is the only former KSAC president who has not been thus memorialized.1 In Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, and . . .

Notes

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pp. 183-252

Index

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pp. 253-268