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ERIC Number: EJ1053430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Much Ado about Something? James Bryant Conant, Harvard University, and Nazi Germany in the 1930s
Urban, Wayne J.; Smith, Marybeth
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v51 n1-2 p152-165 2015
This paper discusses the actions of noted Harvard University president James Bryant Conant, taken in regard to the Nazi government in Germany, from the time of Conant's becoming president of Harvard University in 1933 to the time of the widespread pogrom in Germany of 9-10 November 1938, known as Kristallnacht. Conant's attitudes and actions toward the Nazis have been chronicled in some depth by scholars including William M. Tuttle in a doctoral dissertation in the 1960s, and an article based on that dissertation published in 1979 and, more recently, Stephen Norwood as part of his 2009 indictment of American universities for their widespread tolerance and frequent support of Nazism. Norwood's indictment criticised Tuttle's work for being insufficiently critical of Conant's dealings with Nazi Germany. This paper will evaluate both Conant's actions and the historical interpretations of those actions by Tuttle and Norwood. It will also address the issue of Conant's power as president of Harvard University and how that position of power relates to the actions taken by Conant and the evaluations of those actions by Tuttle and Norwood. Our main focus in this effort is on contextualising Conant's actions in terms of the perceived and actual power of the president of the leading university in the United States of America. What are the powers of university presidents, especially the Harvard University president, and how do Conant's actions cast light on the contours of those powers and the limits on them, self- and socially imposed?
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; Massachusetts
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A