In this Book

Turning the Tide
summary
Turning the Tide is an institutional and cultural history of a dramatic decade of change at the University of Alabama set against the backdrop of desegregation, the continuing civil rights struggle, and the growing antiwar movement.

This book documents the period when a handful of University of Alabama student activists formed an alliance with President Frank A. Rose, his staff, and a small group of progressive-minded professors in order to transform the university during a time of social and political turmoil. Together they engaged in a struggle against Governor George Wallace and a state legislature that reflected the worst aspects of racism in a state where the passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965 did little to reduce segregation and much to inflame the fears and passions of many white Alabamians.

Earl H. Tilford details the origins of the student movement from within the Student Government Association, whose leaders included Ralph Knowles and future governor Don Siegelman, among others; the participation of key members of “The Machine,” the political faction made up of the powerful fraternities and sororities on campus; and the efforts of more radical non-Greek students like Jack Drake, Ed Still, and Sondra Nesmith. Tilford also details the political maneuverings that drove the cause of social change through multiple administrations at the university. Turning the Tide highlights the contributions of university presidents Frank A. Rose and David Mathews, as well as administrators like the dean of men John L. Blackburn, who supported the student leaders but also encouraged them to work within the system rather than against it.

Based on archival research, interviews with many of the principal participants, and the author’s personal experiences, Tilford’s Turning the Tide is a compelling portrait of a university in transition during the turbulence surrounding the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. C-C
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. Jack Drake
  3. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xv-xx
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  1. Introduction: To Preserve the Unhindered Pursuit of Knowledge
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. 1. The University of Alabama: From Slavery to Desegregation
  2. pp. 8-28
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  1. 2. Ebb Tide: June 1963 to September 1964
  2. pp. 29-47
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  1. 3. An Oasis of Modern Thought in a Sea of Reactionism
  2. pp. 48-69
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  1. Images 1
  2. pp. 70-76
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  1. 4. Toward a New University of Alabama: Building a Team for Excellence and Competence
  2. pp. 77-97
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  1. 5. A Year of Ferment and Inquiry: In Infinite New Directions
  2. pp. 98-120
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  1. Images 2
  2. pp. 121-127
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  1. 6. A Regional Center for Academic Excellence: Between Tuscaloosa and Montgomery
  2. pp. 128-148
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  1. 7. Campus Militancy Grows: A Past Still Present
  2. pp. 149-168
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  1. 8. In Defense of Reason
  2. pp. 169-189
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  1. 9. May 1970: Days of Rage and Reason
  2. pp. 190-208
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 209-236
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  1. Sources
  2. pp. 237-244
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 245-252
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