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?- ? RegionalReports i MIDWEST "The American Non-Communist Left, ¡925-1975" was the theme ofthefirst "microregionaF' conference ofthe Midwestern Region of THS. The conference was held at Wright State University. Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, October 14, 2000. Writh only four presenters, the occasion was designed to be as much social as scholarly. Attendees came from eleven institutions or organizations: the Universities of Cincinnati and Dayton, Miami University of Ohio, the Ohio State University, Ohio University, the Richard Stockton State College of New Jersey, Tiffin University, Wayne State University in Detroit, Wright State University, the City of Dayton Public Schools, and the Greater Cincinnati Jewish CommunityRelations Council. Several members of the general public also came for a total of 34 participants. The keynote address, "My Encounter With 'Liberalism': A Scholar's Odyssey," was delivered by THS member Alonzo Hamby, Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio University, and author of an acclaimed biography of Harry S. Truman (Oxford, 1995), and Liberalism and Its Challengersfrom FDR to Bush (2nd edition, Oxford, 1992). After a comprehensive review of the changing definitions of "Liberalism" in the twentieth century. Hamby concluded that American Liberalism has always been characterized by an odd dualism derived from two major aspcts of the American heritage: faith in human reason, flowing from Enlightenment thought, and a degree of pssimism, stemming from Calvinism, Hamby was followed by John Sherman of the Wright State University who spoke on "Parting Company: Liberals and a Communist Front—The American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, 1939—1956." While condemning McCarthyite tactics used against the ACPFB. Sherman argued that it was indeed a Communist front organization that did nothing to protect several German seamen who tried to defect in New York because the incident happned during the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Even worse, the ACPFB never lifted a finger in defense of the Japanese-Americans interned on the West Coast during World War II. After a pleasant luncheon, at which old friendships were renewed and newones forged, Abe Miller, Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati, spoke on "Robert Fowler Hall: The Communist Party and Civil Rights." Robert Fowler Hall was a prominent Southern Communist, and also Miller's father-in-law. Hall was driven into the Communist Party because of his disgust at the deeply ingrained racism of Southern society in the early twentieth century. He eventually moved to New York, where he became editor of the Sunday edition of the Daily Worker, and eventually broke with the party in 1956. Hall frequently told interviewers and visitors that he could understand why he originally joined the Communists, but could never comprehend why he had stayed with the Party as long as he did. Hc became a prominent conservationist, and died in 1996 at the age of 87. Although Hall's papers are now available to researchers at the campus of the State University of New York, Albany, continued on page 20 19 W METROPOLITAN MIDWEST The Metropolitan Midwest Region has organized three seminarsfor the coming months and announces its first regional conference. All three seminars will take place on Northwestern University's Evanston Campus on Saturdays, at 2 p.m. On December 2, 2000, Stanley I. Kurier of the University of Wisconsin-Madison recounted his successful campign to liberate the Nixon tapes in a talk entitled , "Pursuing Sources: An Historian's Adventures with the Law." Noting the formidable obstacles that so often stand in the pith of the modern American historian, Professor Kurier explained how his own research was repeatedly thwarted by the former President and his archivists. Professor Kutler's fortunes improved following the "Trickster's" death in 1994. Nixon's tapes, which thanks to Professor Kutler's work are now part of the public record, reveal an administration obsessed with shaping historical interpretation. Among the many insights Professor Kutler shared were Nixon and HaJdcman's astonishingly brazen attempts to stage fictional conversations—one of which was intended to burden Henry Kissinger with responsibility for the Cambodia bombing campaign. Professor Kutler concluded his talk with two suggestions for the individual intent upon wresting sources from hostile parties: I IV certain you have a good lawyer; (2) Make sure your representation is pro...