Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

I first became interested in college fraternities because I was disturbed by news reports throughout the 1980s and 1990s about fraternities being involved in sexual assaults upon women and occasionally in group acts of racial bigotry and homophobia. I was curious about the origin of such behavior and wondered why it tended to occur at fraternity events. While it is certainly true that...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Writing in his diary in 1847, Amherst College student William Gardiner Hammond described one of his fraternity brothers: ‘‘Seelye is a man of no ordinary mold: uniting in greatest abundance the virtues and talents of the head and heart. Not a man in our class is as strong a character as he.’’ In 1892 a brother in Kappa Sigma at the University of Virginia wrote to another about a group of...

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Chapter 1. Camaraderie and Resistance: The Founding and Function of College Fraternities

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pp. 13-50

On November 25, 1825, five members of the senior class at Union College in Schenectady, New York, met to form a secret society. All five had been members of an organized military company at Union that had recently been dissolved; feeling what was described by one as ‘‘an aching void’’ left by the company’s dissolution, they decided to form a society for literary and social purposes. These five...

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Chapter 2. The Sacred, the Secular, and the Manly

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pp. 51-78

Julian Sturtevant, an 1826 graduate of Yale College, described the dining hall on his first day of school: That group of students was a strange medley. The families of merchant princes of New York, Boston and Philadelphia; of aristocratic cotton planters; of hard handed New England farmers; of Ohio backwoodsmen, and even the humblest sons of daily toil were there, sitting at the same tables. However...

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Chapter 3. Very Fraternally Yours: National Brotherhood in the Nineteenth Century

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pp. 79-120

In 1857 the secretary of the New York Free Academy chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon sent a letter to his counterpart at what was then called Michigan University: Our chapter looks down on all competitors. Greatly do we exult in our triumph over our hereditary rivals, the [q]s. But one short year has elapsed since we first had the...

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Chapter 4. Greeks and Barbs: Social Class and the Rise of the Fraternity in the Postbellum Years

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pp. 121-182

In the late 1870s and early 1880s, students at the University of California, Berkeley, began to publish two newspapers, the Oestrus and the Occident. One of their chief purposes was to criticize fraternities. The editors alleged that men in fraternities rigged college elections, were poor scholars, promoted discord among otherwise amicable classmates, and broke college rules more often than nonfraternity...

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Chapter 5. Fussers and Fast Women: Fraternity Men in the 1920s

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pp. 183-228

In November 1926 the New Student, an alternative national newspaper, published a short story about a freshman adjusting to his first year away at college. Its protagonist, Bruce, has pledged a fraternity upon his arrival. At their Monday meetings, pledges are required to tell about their exploits during the week. At the meeting during which we are first introduced to Bruce, a fellow pledge has just...

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Chapter 6. Democracy, Drinking, and Violence: Post–World War II Fraternities

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pp. 229-284

Early on the morning of March 19, 1949, Dartmouth College student and World War II veteran Raymond J. Cirrotta died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, New Hampshire. He had been beaten senseless by two men as six of their drunken fraternity brothers looked on and did nothing. The night before, Kappa...

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Conclusion

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pp. 285-306

On the night of February 27, 1982, the brothers of Duke’s chapter of Beta Phi Zeta (  , known colloquially as ‘‘bozo’’) gave their pledges a task. They were to find the ugliest girl they could at a party that night and bring her back to their dorm section for a ‘‘train’’—a colloquial term for group sex, whereby each man has sex with the woman in turn, waiting one behind the other like the...

Notes

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pp. 307-372

Bibliography

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pp. 373-400

Index

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pp. 401-412