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ERIC Number: ED513330
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 302
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-9579-5
The Sixties and the Cold War University: Madison, Wisconsin and the Development of the New Left
Levin, Matthew
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The history of the sixties at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is both typical of other large universities in the United States and, at the same time, distinctive within the national and even international upheaval that marked the era. Madison's history shows how higher education transformed in the decades after World War II, influenced deeply by the Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union. Universities became increasingly important to the Cold War effort, with many schools developing close ties with the federal government and especially its national security agencies. The Cold War also helped underwrite a massive expansion of university enrollment in the 1950s and 1960s, while universities offered a space for anti-Cold War dissent. These tensions in Cold War-era higher education were exposed during the war in Vietnam, and they fueled and focused the campus-based protest movement that emerged in the sixties. In Madison, two of the era's most important protests, a 1966 draft sit-in and a 1967 demonstration against interviewers from Dow Chemical Company, indicated how the struggle over the Cold War university contributed to the New Left. Madison's New Left also had its own distinctive development. Students in the 1950s maintained a critique of American foreign and domestic politics, while signs of a New Left emerged by the middle and later years of the decade. Madison developed a vibrant intellectual community during these years, the result of Wisconsin's Progressive political tradition, a number of irreverent and sometimes even radical faculty members, and a mix of students that included Wisconsin radicals and out-of-state Jews. Established in 1959, the journal "Studies on the Left" was one product of this community, its development highlighting the importance of 1950s student politics in the emergence of the New Left even as its criticism of American imperialism and liberalism spread outside of Madison. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; Wisconsin