Cold War University
Madison and the New Left in the Sixties
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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There are many people who assisted with and supported this project over several years. I would like to thank Tony Michels and Jeremi Suri especially for their longstanding encouragement and for helping me focus my ideas and writing. Many people shared generously in recounting memories of Madison in the 1950s and 1960s, ...
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It was a warm spring afternoon on May 16, 1966, the day of the first large- scale confrontation between students and administrators at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Known afterward simply as the “draft sit-in,” the confrontation came on the heels of a failed meeting between university president Fred Harvey Harrington and leaders of a recently formed student group, ...
1. Cold War University: Higher Education after World War II
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Standing before the University of Wisconsin’s graduating class of 1948, General Omar Bradley, hero of World War II and a key player in the 1944 invasion of Normandy, spoke with a determined gravity. That summer, there were many reasons to be pessimistic about the future, and the events that had shaken the world over the past several months and years ...
2. “Let the rascal speak”: McCarthyism and Student Political Activity in the Fifties
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When Jeffry Kaplow arrived at the University of Wisconsin in September 1952, he was a freshman from Brooklyn, one of several hundred students from New York at the university that year. Like many of those students, he also had an interest in politics; his mother, a seamstress and Communist Party sympathizer, ...
3. “A constant struggle with ideas”: Intellectual Community in the Sixties
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As the 1960s dawned, Madison was one of a small number of places in the country where students were struggling toward a new left. Though its shape and future direction remained inchoate, young radicals were disillusioned with the status quo, skeptical of America’s aggressive Cold War policies, and doubtful about liberals’ commitment to civil liberties and civil rights. ...
4. “I can’t be calm, cool, and detached any longer”: The Beginnings of a Mass Movement
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At the end of the 1950s, Madison possessed a number of factors that would be crucial to the development of a powerful protest movement in the next decade: a tradition of student radicalism; a relatively tolerant administration; a number of charismatic and unorthodox professors; a critique of American politics and foreign policy; ...
5. “We must stop what we oppose”: Dow
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Dow,” as it came to be known by Madison activists and others, was the culmination of the paradoxes of Cold War–era higher education at the University of Wisconsin. Blending together protests against the war in Vietnam, the role of corporations in supplying the American military, and especially the university for its part in the “war machine,” ...
6. Endings and Beginnings: The New Left in the Late Sixties
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October 1967 was a climax of the tensions in Cold War–era higher education that had been building for more than two decades, but it was hardly the end of the New Left in Madison. Protests continued to shake the Wisconsin campus for the next several years, spurred by the continuing war in Vietnam and the persistent critique of the university’s ties to the Cold War; ...
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Studies in American Thought and Culture
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Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 24 b/w photos
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Studies in American Thought and Culture