Communists on Campus: Race, Politics and the Public University in Sixties North Carolina (Hardback)
  • Communists on Campus: Race, Politics and the Public University in Sixties North Carolina (Hardback)
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Communists on Campus: Race, Politics and the Public University in Sixties North Carolina (Hardback)

(author)
£85.50
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 30/04/2017
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North Carolina's 1963 speaker ban law declared the state's public college and university campuses off-limits to ""known members of the Communist Party"" or to anyone who cited the Fifth Amendment in refusing to answer questions posed by any state or federal body. Oddly enough, the law was passed in a state where there had been no known communist activity since the 1950s. Just which ""communists"" was it attempting to curb? In Communists on Campus, William J. Billingsley bares the truth behind the false image of the speaker ban's ostensible concern. Appearing at a critical moment in North Carolina and U.S. history, the law marked a last-ditch effort by conservative rural politicians to increase conservative power and quell the demands of the civil rights movement, preventing the feared urban political authority that would accompany desegregation and African American political participation.

Questioning the law's discord with North Carolina's progressive reputation, Billingsley also criticizes the school officials who publicly appeared to oppose the speaker ban law but, in reality, questioned both students' rights to political opinions and civil rights legislation. Exposing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the main target of the ban, he addresses the law's intent to intimidate state schools into submission to reactionary legislative demands at the expense of the students' political freedom.

Contrary to its aims, the speaker ban law spawned a small but powerfully organized student resistance led by the Students for a Democratic Society at the University of North Carolina. The SDS, quickly joined by more traditional student groups, mobilized student ""radicals"" in a memorable effort to halt this breach of their constitutional rights. Highlighting the crisis point of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, Communists on Campus exposes the activities and machinations of prominent political and educational figures Allard Lowenstein, Terry Sanford, William Friday, Herbert Aptheker, and Jesse Helms in an account that epitomizes the social and political upheaval of sixties America.

Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820352206
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 662 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A serious and valuable work . . . Fosters an understanding of the race and class fault lines that remain under the surface of all southern politics . . . A solid contribution to the political literature of the region.--"Journal of Politics"


Examines an important, often overlooked locus of political conflict in the 1960s South: the college campus . . . Billingsley has written a useful book whose discussion of the 'culture wars' between southern locals and cosmopolitans will make it required reading for students of the 1960s.--"American Historical Review"


Explores a fascinating episode in North Carolina history . . . Challenges the view offered by such scholars as V. O. Key and William Chafe that race did not drive North Carolina politics.--"Journal of American History"


Billingsley's talent as a historian lies in his animated rendition of institutional and state politics capturing the spirit of political and social resistance on both sides of the controversy. . . . [An] excellent addition to the literature exploring the social and ideological politics of public universities, prompting us to reflect upon their role in shaping our national history.--"History of Education Quarterly"


Remarkable . . . The author has demonstrated some of my favorite people doing things that I wish that they had not done.--John Herbert Roper "editor of "C. Vann Woodward: A Southern Historian and His Critics" "


The book offers much more than an institutional history. It is a thorough examintation of muddy state politics and the delicate dance public administrators had to perform with the legistlature and their own campus constituents. It uses the Chapel Hill campus and the speaker ban as a lens through which to examine broader issues of institutional autonomy and how autonomy is influenced by state and national events, political attitudes, and petty squabbles.--"H-Net Reviews"


Elaborates a useful, accurate, and quite finely told story, tracing connections to major political figures, and connections also to the ongoing civil rights movements.--"Academe: Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors"


Impressive, well researched, and engaging. [This book] should attract a diverse group of readers with interests ranging from the civil rights movement to the history of higher education.--James L. Leloudis "author of "Schooling in the New South: Pedagogy, Self, and North Carolina, 1880-1920" "

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