During the early years of the cold war, concerns about communist, radical, or left-wing faculty in American institutions of higher learning were widespread.
Now available in paperback, this is the first extensive study of how academic administrators responded to these public concerns, the underlying issues, and what accounted for which faculty members became victims of the cold war on campus.Lewis looks closely at controversies on fifty-eighth colleges and universities during the period from 1946 to 1956.
He finds that in general the cold war on campuses was fought out over issues of academic freedom rather than political ideology.
In fact, only a handful of faculty were members of the Communist party, and there is nothing to suggest that even this minority was involved in conspiratorial activities, sabotage, or other activities that resulted in civil unrest.
What then explains what happened on American campuses during this period?The central argument of Cold War on Campus is that political considerations were important in .determining who was picked out and labeled, and whose career was threatened; but after that, political considerations played hardly any role in how matters on campus developed and were resolved.