(Schrecker 1980) Academic freedom and the Cold War

Schrecker, Ellen. Academic freedom and the Cold War. Antioch Review. 1980 Summer; 38(3):313–327.

Schrecker refutes the commonly held viewpoint that universities in the USA provided better protection against McCarthy-era political persecution of Communists than did the rest of U.S. society. Most university faculty and administrators regarded Communist Party membership as a valid ground for exclusion from the faculty; this viewpoint was so widely held that even the most authoritative scholarly study of academic freedom from this era accepted it. Persecution of real or suspected Communists was typically a two-step process: an official governmental body such as the FBI or a Congressional committee identified dissidents (for example, by inducing them to take the Fifth Amendment to avoid the risk of prosecution), and then their university employer applied sanctions, typically dismissal from their academic posts.



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