Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University

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9780195144574: Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University

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.

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About 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.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* America's premier academic institution well deserves this kind of carefully detailed chronicle. An accomplished Brandeis historian and Harvard's first female dean combine their talents to probe two successive transformations of the school: first, the change (between 1933 and 1971) that turned a regional university serving Boston's Brahmin elite into a meritocratic institution with the very best qualified faculty and students from around the country; second, the reordering of priorities (between 1971 and 2000) that gave the university a new worldliness evident in its new responsiveness to off-campus imperatives of commerce and politics and in its aggressive new recruitment of previously marginal groups (women and minorities). Though generally favorable in their treatment of this adaptive and dynamic school, the authors do expose administrative blunders, faculty squabbles, and student outrages. Readers revisit the paranoia of the McCarthyite fifties, the campus tumult of the sixties, and the political correctness of the eighties. The unpredictable personalities of the university's presidents receive particular scrutiny: Nathan Pusey's irrational stubbornness comes to light, for instance, as does Derek Bok's penchant for overheated rhetoric. But beyond personalities, the authors confront the perplexing challenges of keeping intellectual life vital in a burgeoning bureaucracy and of keeping the doors of an increasingly costly school open to middle-class families. As long as Harvard embodies the nation's highest cultural aspirations, this volume will find many appreciative readers. Bryce Christensen
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Morton Keller, Phyllis Keller
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780195144574

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2001. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780195144574

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