The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s

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9780520222212: The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s
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This is the authoritative and long-awaited volume on Berkeley's celebrated Free Speech Movement (FSM) of 1964. Drawing from the experiences of many movement veterans, this collection of scholarly articles and personal memoirs illuminates in fresh ways one of the most important events in the recent history of American higher education. The contributors—whose perspectives range from that of FSM leader Mario Savio to University of California president Clark Kerr—-shed new light on such issues as the origins of the FSM in the civil rights movement, the political tensions within the FSM, the day-to-day dynamics of the protest movement, the role of the Berkeley faculty and its various factions, the 1965 trial of the arrested students, and the virtually unknown "little Free Speech Movement of 1966."

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From the Inside Flap:

"This is a superb book. We are well-launched into a new generation of '60s scholarship, and The Free Speech Movement will be at the center of it. The analysis and personal recollection mix well, arguing persuasively for the never-to-be-underestimated place of contingency in history."—Todd Gitlin, author of Media Unlimited and The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage

"This powerful book not only will be the classic work on the Free Speech Movement but also will be combed as a basis for hypotheses and new research on the movements of the '60s. It's absolutely thrilling, full of large implications for history, social movements, and character. The book contributed to my self-knowledge (personal, political, and professional) and will do the same for others. It combines humor and a firsthand, I-was-there flavor with provocative analyses. As a serious, original work of scholarship, this gives edited volumes back their good name."—Jesse Lemisch, Professor of History Emeritus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, and author of The American Revolution Seen from the Bottom Up

"This book gets the Free Speech Movement and its significance exactly right-from the civil rights origins to refusing to idealize the moment at the expense of what came later. And no two better editors could be doing it."—Michael Rogin, author of Ronald Reagan, The Movie, And Other Episodes in Political Demonology

"As a journalist, I was in Berkeley's Sproul Plaza to witness the mass arrests of the Free Speech Movement demonstrators in December 1964. As a citizen, I've always known that this was one of the pivotal moments in the great political and moral awakening of the 1960s. As a reader, I found much to feast on in this splendid and thoughtful collection of essays, about a movement whose effects and inspiration are with us still."—Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

"The Free Speech Movement was a pivotal moment in the evolution of student rights and university responsibilities. These splendid essays memorialize this period and offer competing perspectives on its meaning. Though differing widely in conclusions, collectively and individually they stand testament to the conviction that 'the price of freedom is eternal vigilance' and that 'the critical test of freedom of expression is the right of others to speak out on behalf of what we believe to be wrong.'"—Geoffrey R. Stone, author of Eternally Vigilant: Freedom of Speech in the Modern Era

"This rich and entertaining set of essays offers remarkable insight into the genesis, development, and consequences of the Free Speech Movement. Written largely by participants and close observers, these essays offer both personal and analytical assessments of the roles of students, faculty, and administrators. Above all, the chapters on Mario Savio demonstrate his unusual capacity for leadership-charismatic without being dogmatic, committed to the cause while retaining a capacity to think and deal openly with dissent. This book should be read by anyone interested in understanding university and national politics in the '60s."—Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author:

Robert Cohen is Associate Professor of Education at New York University and has an associated appointment in the NYU History Department. He is the author of When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America's First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941 (1993), and editor of Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression (2002). Reginald E. Zelnik is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. Among his recent publications are Law and Disorder on the Narova River: The Kreenholm Strike of 1872 (California, 1995) and Workers and Intelligentsia in Late Imperial Russia: Realities, Representations, Reflections (1999).

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