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The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967: Volume Two: Political Turmoil / Edition 1

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Overview

The Los Angeles Times called the first volume of The Gold and the Blue "a major contribution to our understanding of American research universities." This second of two volumes continues the story of one of the last century's most influential figures in higher education. A leading visionary, architect, leader, and fighter for the University of California, Clark Kerr was chancellor of the Berkeley campus from 1952 to 1958 and president of the university from 1958 to 1967. He saw the university through its golden years—a time of both great advancement and great conflict. This absorbing memoir is an intriguing insider's account of how the University of California rose to the peak of scientific and scholarly stature and how, under Kerr's unique leadership, it evolved into the institution it is today.


In Volume II: Political Turmoil, Kerr turns to the external and political environment of the 1950s and 1960s, contrasting the meteoric rise of the University of California to the highest pinnacle of academic achievement with its troubled political context. He describes his attempts to steer a middle course between attacks from the political Right and Left and discusses the continuing attacks on the university, and on him personally, by the state Un-American Activities Committee. He provides a unique point of view of the Free Speech Movement on the Berkeley campus in the fall of 1964. He also details the events of January 1967, when he was dismissed as president of the university by the Board of Regents.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
"These two volumes are tales of two Berkeleys -- one the academic Berkeley and the other the political Berkeley -- joined together like Siamese twins but with separate minds and mostly separate bodies; quarreling but sharing some of their life support organs," he sums up. "The great mystery of the University of California, and particularly of its Berkeley campus, is how it could achieve so many academic triumphs while being subject to so much political turmoil."

Kerr is too decorous to say it aloud, but the mystery is solved in the pages of The Gold and the Blue. The triumphs were achieved precisely because Kerr was there to play the role for which he was condemned by so many of his adversaries on the left and the right -- he was the classic liberal, committed to the highest ideals but always willing to compromise in service of those ideals. A president with more modest aspirations, or one who was willing to sacrifice himself on principle, would not have accomplished nearly as much. — Jonathan Kirsch

Library Journal
In Volume 1 of his memoir, Kerr-president emeritus of the University of California (UC)-told the story of the rise of UC as a preeminent research university as only he could. Kerr's knowledge and experience of the internal dynamics of the UC system made Academic Triumphs essential reading for any student of higher education. As with that volume, though, the reader should be sure to balance Kerr's unique perspective with that of other historians, as he turns his attention away from the history of the UC system as an organization and toward the broader social and political forces that influenced life at Berkeley during the tumult of the 1950s and 1960s. As before, Kerr provides a unique and valuable perspective on these important events, but his voice weakens as he provides a very limited perspective on a series of broad-based social movements. While recommended for academic collections, this memoir should be read alongside examples of recent scholarship largely ignored in his analysis, e.g., Ellen W. Schrecker's No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities and Terry H. Anderson's The Movement and the Sixties.-Scott Walter, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520236417
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Clark Kerr (1911-2003) was President of the University of California and a giant in public education. His books include The Uses of the University (1963; 5th edition 2001), Higher Education Cannot Escape History (1994), Troubled Times for Higher Education, 1960-1980 (1994), and The Great Transformation in Higher Education (1991).

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Read an Excerpt

THE GOLD AND THE BLUE

A PERSONAL MEMOIR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, 1949-1967
By CLARK KERR

University of California

Copyright © 2003 Regents of the University of California
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-520-23641-6


Chapter One

Politicizing the Ivory Tower

Colleges and universities over the centuries have been looked upon as ivory towers-remote from the turmoil of the surrounding world, a place for study and contemplation, a refuge for young persons to learn and mature before entering the real world of conflicts and temptations, a sanctuary for thought, a shelter against greed and other worldly concerns, an asylum from control by establishment authorities and thus a vantage point from which to criticize those authorities.

This vision was not always an accurate one. Universities did not escape the conflicts between royalists and parliamentarians in seventeenth-century England, or the religious battles during the Thirty Years' War in Germany, or the Napoleonic revolution in France. Historically, however, a veil of ignorance did mostly conceal universities from public scrutiny. Only in the twentieth century has this veil ripped apart, have universities been so consistently on the frontlines of social change and controversy, and so subject to public scrutiny, perhaps particularly in the state of California and especially at the University of California.

I try to set forth below some of the context, as I saw it, within which the University of California and other American research universities had to operate in the middle of the twentieth century. This context was, I thought, especially coercive. I sketch out this context, I fully realize, with a very broad brush.

For a historical view of the middle of the twentieth century as a context for universities as compared with earlier periods, see my essay "Shock Wave II: An Introduction to the Twenty-First Century." I there suggest that the midcentury period that constituted "Shock Wave I" subjected American universities to unusual pressures to change their behavior. I go on to predict that the period following the advent of a new millennium may include another one.

Shock Wave I

Five external events fundamentally affected the University of California during the mid-twentieth-century period of Shock Wave I. They also affected all other American research universities, usually to a lesser extent. They were

the Communist political and military challenges to capitalism and democracy, involving American universities in political controversies over alleged subversive activities

the related advent of high-technology militarization, calling on universities for new research emphases

the intensified speed of industrialization around the world, changing the nature of much of the labor force and creating a demand for occupationally focused university training

a demographic engulfment of higher education, tripling enrollments from 1960 to 1975. (This resulted from a very high birthrate after World War II and the simultaneous advent of universal access to higher education. California was particularly affected because of the westward drift of the American population.)

a tidal wave of human liberation for oppressed populations, drawing university students and faculty into its wake Universities became integrated into the web of societal struggles as seldom before.

In the nineteenth century, American higher education was challenged by the advent of the German model, which introduced research into what had been almost solely teaching institutions. It was further challenged by the introduction of the land-grant model, which introduced university service to production elements of society. But these had come one at a time with long periods of adaptation. Suddenly there were five such challenges within a short period of time, roughly 1945 to 1970. Thus Shock Wave I. Five maelstroms to steer through all at once. The strains on the institutions were enormous: greater public fear of Communist subversion on campus, more secret research, the larger size of student bodies and the formation of critical masses for political disruption, the greater ascendency of science, and related resentment of faculty in the humanities, and so on. Too many challenges, all at the same time and they exacerbated one another. Trouble was endemic and became epidemic.

THE COMMUNIST THREAT

The Communist challenge to democracy began with the rise of the U.S.S.R. at the end of World War I. An early Communist scare in the United States followed immediately. It was revived in the 1930s with the growth of the trade union movement, small segments of which were partially and temporarily under Communist leadership, and with Communist infiltration into the popular media, particularly the motion picture industry.

California and New York City were particularly affected. The International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU) came under Communist influence and one result was the San Francisco General Strike of 1934. Hollywood was also said to be infiltrated by Communists, both as writers and as participants in motion picture films. Ronald Reagan first came to public attention as an anti-Communist trade union leader in the motion picture industry.

Students and professors at Berkeley and UCLA were implicated in 1930s radicalism by a state legislative committee (the Tenney committee) that accused them of supporting Communist activities in the trade union movement and in Hollywood.

After World War II and the advent of the Cold War, the Communist challenge was taken especially seriously. One result was the loyalty oath controversy between faculty and regents within the University of California; another was the investigations by the new California State Senate Committee on Un-American Activities (the Burns committee), which paid particular attention to the University of California. The university administration had tried to fend off political involvement by establishing in the 1930s what became the controversial Rule 17, which spelled out conditions and limits under which students could engage in political activities that used the university's name and facilities. Yet the contests over Rule 17 ended up increasing rather than reducing political involvement.

It turned out, despite the intense fears, that Communist infiltration into the United States and California was minuscule. Public and governmental reactions were quite out of proportion.

THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL-SCIENTIFIC COMPLEX

The movement of military endeavors into industrial activity began during World War I with the production of tanks and machine guns. World War II, however, brought the great intrusion of military activity into the universities, particularly with the development of the atomic bomb. The University of California was not affected by World War I except for the military enlistment of male students. It was, however, greatly changed by World War II, along with other federally financed research universities, especially MIT and the University of Chicago. On the Berkeley campus, work on the atom led to the establishment of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory on the hill above Berkeley and later to university laboratories at Livermore and Los Alamos, New Mexico. These facilities conducted classified military research, which had never before been so greatly introduced into university activities.

After World War II came the Cold War that divided the world on a bipolar basis. The Soviet success with Sputnik in 1957 was a shock to America. And university scientists, already involved in the Cold War, intensified their efforts.

Both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. created massive military-industrial-scientific complexes. The American competitive scientific system was based on its many universities and proved to be superior to the Russian series of governmentally controlled monopolies. Soviet science was carried out in the Academy of Sciences, its specialized institutes, and other government agencies, not in autonomous competitive universities. American universities through their superiority helped to win the hot war with Germany and Japan, and then the Cold War with Russia.

The University of California led this effort with two great research campuses-Berkeley and UCLA, joined by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, and with the three federal laboratories-at Berkeley, Livermore, and Los Alamos. The University of California became the leading military contractor among American universities and thus a particularly active participant in the Cold War. California corporations, at the same time, became the nation's leading military contractors, with twice the proportion of the state's labor force involved than the national average.

Science, especially physics and chemistry, became the center of regental attention within the University of California as elsewhere, thus lowering the comparative status of the humanities as well as that of the less quantitative pursuits in the social sciences. Together, the downgraded areas included a substantial proportion of faculty within the Academic Senate. Two cultures, separate and unequal, were born.

An ambience of suspicion developed on the Berkeley campus, first and particularly involving scientists participating in the Oppenheimer case. It spread within the Board of Regents with the loyalty oath controversy and among the state's legislators, where the Senate Un-American Activities Committee became increasingly prominent. No political conflict among scientists in the United States was ever more bitter than the Oppenheimer case. No board of trustees was ever more embroiled in dissension with its faculties than the Board of Regents of the University of California in the loyalty oath controversy. No state un-American activities committee was ever more active and endured longer than the one in California.

The federal government, for only the second time in American history, became a dominant player in American university life. The first time was with the development of the land-grant movement in the 1860s. And, as I found out as I participated in public forums all over the state, the public began to view the university as changing the world and not always for the better, as with the atomic bomb and later with DNA potentially subject to manipulation. I began to get questions about where university scientists were taking this new world and whether they were now playing God or, perhaps, the devil. I was surprised at how rapidly science was being viewed not as the great savior as in World War II but as a potential gravedigger with its "mad scientists."

Federal support of science for military purposes quickly spread after World War II to other spheres of science, particularly health, but also much else. The teaching university became predominantly the research university.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The increasing drive for economic development had a big impact on universities everywhere. I know of no good study of the consequences of economic development on higher education, but there is a close connection. The first universities in the Western world arose in Italy at the time of the rise of the city-states based on commerce and finance with their requirements for lawyers and accountants. As populations within the larger towns and cities grew more affluent, a new demand arose for teachers and medical doctors. These demands intensified with the movement from commercial to industrial economies. New occupations were created, such as engineering and management, that demanded ever higher levels of skills and thus more advanced training. Universities became increasingly active participants in economic growth.

A similar process was taking place all around the world. By the end of World War II, most nations were becoming industrialized and thus more competitive with one another-the start of globalization. I was coauthor of a book (1960) that began by saying,

The world is entering a new age-the age of total industrialization. Some countries are far along the road; many more are just beginning the journey. But everywhere, at a faster or slower pace, the peoples of the world are on the march toward industrialism. They are launched on a long course that is certain to change their communities into new and vastly different societies whose forms cannot yet be clearly foreseen. The twentieth century is a century of enormous and profound and worldwide transformation.

Successful industrialization brought progress to national economic systems; and, for the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., industrialization became basic to their comparative military and political supremacy. Industrialization also brought increasing family affluence, and higher education became a consumption good as well as a production necessity.

The United States, as a leader in industrialization, became the world's dominant economic power in the twentieth century, requiring a great upsurge in college graduates to supply engineers, managers, laboratory technicians, and other skilled personnel. Long past was the time when higher education was essential only to the practice of the ancient professions of teaching, law, theology, and medicine.

California, once highly agricultural, became a leading industrial state, and it ushered in the electronic revolution. It became the most populous state, at one point growing at the rate of half a million people each year. As a consequence, California's higher education system expanded vastly, leading, in turn, to the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education and to growth in programs that met the need for an enlarged industrial labor force-for more "human capital."

DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES-UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

California's industrialization and its resultant population growth brought about a great increase in the number of university students. In addition, the number of children born in the United States each year almost doubled from the mid 1930s to the late 1950s, with the number of children per family rising from 2.3 in 1933 to 3.7 in 1957. This was also the period when access to higher education became increasingly universal. The period of elite access ended with the Civil War. The land-grant movement and then the development of junior colleges ushered in a period of mass access. The GI Bill of Rights after World War II introduced a period of universal access. One half of the GIs enrolled as students came from families where no one ever before had gone to college.

Between 1958 and 1966, the University of California doubled in student numbers. It grew in that eight-year period as much as in the prior one hundred years. It built three new campuses and refocused the missions of four existing campuses, producing increased intercampus competition. Berkeley, although still the leader, suddenly went from being the only UC campus of any distinction to being one among nine-each with its own sense of rising importance. Expansion also led to decentralizing the University of California administration, and to consequent battles over the degrees and forms of decentralization.

Continues...


Excerpted from THE GOLD AND THE BLUE by CLARK KERR Copyright © 2003 by Regents of the University of California . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

List of Figure and Tables
Foreword
Preface

PART I. INTRODUCTION
1. Politicizing the Ivory Tower

PART II. IMPACTS OF MCCARTHYISM
2. The Catastrophic Loyalty Oath Controversy
3. "Un-American" Activities

PART III. THE EMERGENCE OF YOUTH UPRISINGS
4. Youth Uprisings around the World
5. The Development of Student Political Movements in the United States

PART IV. STUDENT CONFLICT ACCELERATES AT BERKELEY
6. The Fatal Attractions of the Berkeley Campus
7. The Sproul Directives
8. The Issue of Political Advocacy on Campus
9. Things Start to Fall Apart

PART V. BERKELEY, FALL 1964—THE FSM UPRISING
10. The Lighted Match
11. The Conflagration
12. The Center Holds and Puts Out the Flames

PART VI. RECOVERY
13. The Center Starts to Build Back
14. The Center Coalesces

PART VII. BACKLASH
15. Reagan and the Regents
16. The Last Day—Losing Big or Winning Big?

Addendum: Transcript of Clark Kerr’s Remarks at the January 20, 1967,
News Conference
Appendix 1. Selections from FBI Files
Appendix 2. List of Documenrary Supplements
Notes
Acknowledgments
Credits

Index

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