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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cold War University: Madison and the New Left in the Sixties (University of Wisconsin Press), by Matthew Levin

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In 1953, enrollment at the University of Wisconsin hit its lowest ebb since the Second World War at just over 13,000. In 1960, with American fear of Soviet expansion past the point of panic, the university received more than a million dollars in corporate contributions and $9 million in federal funds. By the end of the 1960s, UW enrollment topped 35,000.

In Cold War University, Matthew Levin details how the expansion of our eminent Cold War university created a student body of such diversity and vitality that the institution’s very integrity was shaken by its own growth. Bolstered by author interviews with key players of Madison’s 1960s peace and civil rights movements, Levin lays out the precedents, context, goals, challenges, successes, failures and legacy of Madison’s political counterculture in an engaging, fluid narrative.