When Columbia University students organized a protest on April 23rd, 1968, a political anger exploded that could no longer be expressed by oratory or pamphlets or chants and slogans, but only by physical action. The movement developed into the seizure of university buildings, a genuine insurrection, and utopian exhilaration, followed by a violent, brutish backlash by police and the university administration. What was the source of the mysterious dynamism at Columbia? Filmmaker and historian Paul Cronin put together a book called A Time to Stir, which contains more than sixty essays or statements by people who participated on one side or the other in the Columbia event. In an adapted excerpt, Dissentnik Paul Berman reflects on his experience as a wide-eyed freshman and a militant agitator for the left-wing cause. He places the uprising's roots in its local and national context, but equally so in the impulse to rebel that erupted globally in the spring of 1968.


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pp. 143-150
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