From Library Journal
The scenes recalled here of armed black students leaving a Cornell University building in 1969 speak loudly of the rule of law, radicalism, racism, power politics, intellectual honesty, and the relations between academia and society. For Downs (political science, Univ. of Wisconsin), the author of several books, including Nazis in Skokie (LJ 3/1/85), the context for the Cornell uprising was shaped by the history of liberalism in 20th-century American higher education as well as campus events and university policies. A Cornell undergraduate that infamous spring, Downs narrates the issues argued by the Afro-American Society, other student organizations, and factions among administrators and faculty. He clearly details the complex, rapidly unfolding events, which embodied contested notions of progressive education, academic freedom, racial justice, and identity politics and which made the Cornell uprising more significant than most American student revolts of the 1960s. Readable, at times fast-paced, and based solidly on interviews and primary sources, this is highly recommended for academic libraries.ACharles L. Lumpkins, Pennsylvania State Univ., State College
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Thirty years have passed, it is true, but the whole ugly episode is worth recounting because it presaged so much of what was to come on campus: race-conscious admissions, identity politics, the regime of political correctness, the radicalization of the curriculum, the "tradition" of student protest. -- The Wall Street Journal, Daniel J. Silver