Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 97%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $3.52   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   


Making Harvard Modern is a candid, richly detailed portrait of America's most prominent university from 1933 to the present: seven decades of dramatic change. Early twentieth century Harvard was the country's oldest and richest university, but not necessarily its outstanding one. By the century's end it was widely regarded as the nation's, and the world's, leading institution of higher education. With verve, humor, and insight, Morton and Phyllis Keller tell the story of that rise: a tale of compelling personalities, notable achievement and no less notable academic pratfalls. Their book is based on rich and revealing archival materials, interviews, and personal experience.
Young, humbly born James Bryant Conant succeeded Boston Brahmin A. Lawrence Lowell as Harvard's president in 1933, and set out to change a Brahmin-dominated university into a meritocratic one. He hoped to recruit the nation's finest scholars and an outstanding national student body. But the lack of new money during the Depression and the distractions of World War Two kept Conant, and Harvard, from achieving this goal.
In the 1950s and 1960s, during the presidency of Conant's successor Nathan Marsh Pusey, Harvard raised the money, recruited the faculty, and attracted the students that made it a great meritocratic institution: America's university. The authors provide the fullest account yet of this transformation, and of the wrenching campus crisis of the late 'sixties.
During the last thirty years of the twentieth century, a new academic culture arose: meritocratic Harvard morphed into worldly Harvard. During the presidencies of Derek Bok and Neil Rudenstine the university opened its doors to growing numbers of foreign students, women, African- and Asian-Americans, and Hispanics. Its administration, faculty, and students became more deeply engaged in social issues; its scientists and professional schools were more ready to enter into shared commercial ventures. But worldliness brought its own conflicts: over affirmative action and political correctness, over commercialization, over the ever higher costs of higher education.
This fascinating account, the first comprehensive history of a modern American university, is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the present state and future course of higher education.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A former associate dean at Harvard, Keller collaborated with husband Morton (history, Brandeis) on this affectionate chronicle of Harvard's academic evolution. The first two parts of the book correspond with the terms of two contrasting presidents: James Bryant Conant (1933-53), who charted Harvard's course for meritocracy, and the more conservative Nathan Marsh Pusey (1953-71). In the past three decades, the authors maintain, the university has turned outward, becoming more involved with social and world issues. The Kellers relate the events of each era in scrupulous detail; the personal and departmental minutiae will no doubt interest those who share the authors' view of Harvard as "one of the most illustrious institutional adornments of American life." Even the staunchest devotees, however, may tire of the Kellers' flippant tone, as when they dismiss the campus unrest of the Sixties as adolescent angst or refer to John Kenneth Galbraith as his own "favorite subject." An unusual blend of scholarship, irony, and adulation, this book is recommended only for academic libraries. (Index not seen.) Susan M. Colowick, North Olympic Lib. Syst., Port Angeles, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195144574
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Morton Keller is Spector Professor of History at Brandeis, and has written extensively on American political and economic institutions. Phyllis Keller was the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences from the 1970s to the 1990s, and is the author of Getting at the Core, an inside look at the creation of Harvard's pioneering core curriculum.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface     XI
Prologue: Fete Accompli, 1936     3
"Here at Harvard": The Meritocratic University 1933-1953
James Bryant Conant and the Meritocratic University     13
The Coming of Conant
The President and the Governing Boards
Conant and Meritocracy
Conant and American Education
The College     32
Getting In
College Days
Stadium and Classroom
"Lesser Breeds"     47
The Jewish Question
No Women Allowed...
A Different Faith
Racial (In)difference
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences     64
Conant Takes Command
The Humanities
The Social Sciences
The Natural Sciences
The Professional Schools     110
The Graduate School
Public Health and Dentistry
Divinity and Education
Design and Public Administration
Managing Harvard     134
Changing the Guard
Spending: Finance and Budgets
Getting: Fund-Raising
Harvard and the Real World     152
The New Deal, Refugees, and Nazism
Academic Freedom and Dissent
Harvard Goes to War
"An Engine of Power and Responsibility": 1953-1971
Nathan Marsh Pusey and the Affluent University     173
The Economics of Research
Governing the Affluent University     189
An Empowered Elite
Keeping House
Icons and Iconography
The Crimson and the Reds
The Crimson and the Red, White, andBlue
The Ascendant Faculty     211
The Faculty Triumphant
The Social Sciences
The Natural Sciences
The Humanities
The Professional Schools     252
The Graduate School, Law, and Business
Medicine, Public Health, and Dentistry
Education, Divinity, and Design
The Kennedy School
A Plurality of Minorities     276
"... loves the Irish and the Jews..."
In the Company of Women
The Black Presence
The College     290
College Life
The Culture of Student Discontent
Crisis and Recovery     307
Issues and Portents
University Hall
After the Fall
Governing the Future
The King Is Dead...
"A Buzzing Confusion": 1971-2000
Derek Curtis Bok and the Worldly University     341
Harvard's Bok
Race and Gender
Political Correctness
Cost and Quality
Governing     359
The Old Guardians
Building Up: The Central Administration
Making and Managing Money
There Once Was a Union Maid...
The Faculty Provoked
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences     383
The Professoriat
The Sciences
The Social Sciences
The Humanities
The Professional Schools     432
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The Medical Area
Education, Divinity, and Design
The Kennedy School
The College     464
Getting In and Paying for It
The Core and the Classroom
Campus Life
Diversity and Community
Epilogue: Today and Tomorrow 481
Afterword     495
A Note on the Notes     511
Notes     515
Acknowledgments     581
Index     583
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)