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How the 1960s Created the Colleges and Universities of Today


For many aging Baby Boomers and their parents, this country’s golden age does not lie shrouded in a mythic past, but, rather, exists within living memory. When Donald J. Trump spoke of making America great again, his supporters knew what he meant: To return the country to its post-World War II status, when the United States bestrode the globe like a colossus. Not only did the U.S. produce as much as three-quarters of the world’s manufactured goods early in this era, but Americans’ real income grew by an average of 4.4 percent annually between 1950 and 1970.

Even though the post-war era evokes grim images of conservative conformism and Cold War paranoia, replete with blacklists, loyalty oaths, and hundreds of professors hauled before state and federal investigative committees, the early post-war era also witnessed the emergence of a certain kind of restrained Cold War liberalism. This cautious liberalism was evident in the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1947 and climaxed with the Immigration and Nationality Ac of 1965, which phased out national immigration quotas. It was also apparent in the enactment of the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, starting with the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which authorized […]

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