Radicals in the Heartland: The 1960s Student Protest Movement at the University of Illinois

Radicals in the Heartland: The 1960s Student Protest Movement at the University of Illinois

by Michael V. Metz

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In 1969, the campus tumult that defined the Sixties reached a flash point at the University of Illinois. Out-of-town radicals preached armed revolution. Students took to the streets and fought police and National Guardsmen. Firebombs were planted in lecture halls while explosions rocked a federal building on one side of town and a recruiting office on the other. Across the state, the powers-that-be expressed shock that such events could take place at Illinois's esteemed, conservative, flagship university--how could it happen here, of all places? Positioning the events in the context of their time, Michael V. Metz delves into the lives and actions of activists at the center of the drama. A participant himself, Metz draws on interviews, archives, and newspaper records to show a movement born in demands for free speech, inspired by a movement for civil rights, and driven to the edge by a seemingly never-ending war. If the sudden burst of irrational violence baffled parents, administrators, and legislators, it seemed inevitable to students after years of official intransigence and disregard. Metz portrays campus protesters not as angry, militant extremists but as youthful citizens deeply engaged with grave moral issues, embodying the idealism, naiveté, and courage of a minority of a generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252084201
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 04/16/2019
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 294
Sales rank: 803,126
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael V. Metz is retired from a career in high-tech marketing. He took part in the student movement at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1965 to 1970.

Table of Contents

1960s Timeline: The University of Illinois and the World x

1968 Campus Map xiii

Preface xv

Abbreviations xxi

Introduction: Fighting Illini 3

Part I The Prelude

1 The New Yorker George D. Stoddard 11

2 The New Guy David Dodds Henry 17

3 The Communist TA Edward Yellin 19

4 The Sexual Rebel Leo Koch 22

Part II The Free Speech Era, 1965-67

5 The Civil Rights Movement and the University 29

6 Civil Rights, Free Speech, and War 32

7 A Spark: W.E.B. DuBois Club 38

8 The University Reacts 40

9 The University Delays 43

10 Passing the Buck 50

11 The Board Surprises 53

12 The Legislature Speaks 56

13 A Movement Is Born 61

14 Henry Responds 64

15 The Board Reverses 68

16 Students for Free Speech 72

17 Henry Reverses 77

18 Spring/Summer '67: Women Rising 83

Part III The Antiwar Movement, 1967-69

19 Fall'67: A Hectic Beginning 105

20 A New Focus: The War 111

21 Draft Resisters Act 115

22 Then There Was Dow 121

23 The Aftermath 130

24 1968: The Wildest Year 136

25 Race Returns to Center Stage 143

26 Spring Sputters to an End 150

27 Summer '68: The Turning Begins 155

28 Fall'68: Project 500 165

Part IV The Violent Time, 1969-70

29 Spring '69: Heating Up, but Not Boiling Over 173

30 Black and White Together 181

31 A Sign of the End: Weathermen Come to Town 185

32 Spring '70: The Final Semester 191

33 March: Patience Spent, the Storms Begin 194

34 April: Quiet between the Storms 199

35 May: The Final Month 202

36 Strike: The Final Days 207

37 Extra at the End 218

Conclusion: On Agency 225

Contributors: In Their Own Words 231

Acknowledgments 241

Notes 243

Bibliography 261

Index 265

Photographs follow page 92

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