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Look Inside The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower

The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower
Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses


  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107400580

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About the Authors
  • This is the first systematic exploration of the nature and extent of sympathy for Nazi Germany at American universities during the 1930s. Universities were highly influential in shaping public opinion and many of the nation's most prominent university administrators refused to take a principled stand against the Hitler regime. Universities welcomed Nazi officials to campus and participated enthusiastically in student exchange programs with Nazified universities in Germany. American educators helped Nazi Germany improve its image in the West as it intensified its persecution of the Jews and strengthened its armed forces. The study contrasts the significant American grassroots protest against Nazism that emerged as soon as Hitler assumed power with campus quiescence and administrators' frequently harsh treatment of those students and professors who challenged their determination to maintain friendly relations with Nazi Germany.

    • Offers important new insight into the critically important period prior to the Holocaust, which has received little scholarly attention before now
    • Reveals a shocking lack of awareness about Nazism among the nation's educational elite, and an indifference to the plight of Jewish refugees, shaped by pervasive antisemitism
    • Reveals a pattern of university administrations' and trustees' suppression of anti-Nazi dissent on American campuses
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Reviews of the hardback: 'Stephen Norwood's groundbreaking research and eloquent pen have added immeasurably to our understanding of how Americans responded to Nazism in the 1930s. The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower reveals a painful but important chapter in our nation's history.' David S. Wyman, author of The Abandonment of the Jews

    'This pioneering work by an accomplished scholar contains much that will be new and compelling to both historians and the general reader. Well-organized and gracefully written, it is a significant work that systematically exposes and analyzes the tangled and often sordid responses of American universities to Nazism. Norwood's research is deep and wide, drawing on evidence from a very broad range of often untapped sources. This study will be essential reading for scholars of Nazism, antisemitism, appeasement, higher education, the American Jewish experience, the 1930s student movement, free speech, and even gender history. The study should also have considerable appeal to the educated public.' Steven Katz, Boston University

    'The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower provides the first comprehensive examination of the response of major American universities to the ethical and professional challenges posed by the Nazi regime. Through a methodical marshaling of evidence, Professor Norwood demonstrates that university administrators reacted with both temerity, in maintaining ties to German institutions long after the Nazi influence was clear, and timidity, in refusing to protest Nazi outrages on either academic or moral grounds. In doing so, he exposes the prejudices and predilections that shaped the American academy in the twentieth century.' Laurel Leff, Northeastern University School of Journalism and and author of Buried by The Times

    'An excellent and frightening book about the friendly hand extended prior to World War II by major U.S. universities and colleges to Nazi Germany and its European allies. American academics and their institutions flattered Hitler and his regime, minimized their crimes, and encouraged appeasement. A must-read also for those who want to understand the mechanisms that generate antisemitism and prejudice on American campuses today.' Radu Ioanid, author of The Holocaust in Romania

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107400580
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Germany reverts to the Dark Ages: Nazi clarity and American awareness, 1933–1934
    2. Legitimating Nazism: Harvard University and the Hitler regime, 1933–1937
    3. Complicity and conflict: Columbia University's response to Fascism, 1933–1937
    4. The seven sisters colleges and the Third Reich: promoting fellowship through student exchange
    5. A respectful hearing for Nazi Germany's apologists: the University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs round tables, 1933–1941
    6. Nazi nests: German departments in American Universities, 1933–1941
    7. American Catholic Universities' flirtation with Fascism
    8. 1938, year of the Kristallnacht: the limits of campus protest

  • Author

    Stephen H. Norwood, University of Oklahoma
    Stephen H. Norwood, who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, is Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma. His two-volume Encyclopedia of American Jewish History, co-edited with Eunice G. Pollack (2008), received the Booklist Editor's Choice Award. He is also the author of three other books on American history, the winner of the Herbert G. Gutman Award in American Social History and the co-winner of the Macmillan/SABR Award in Baseball History. His articles have appeared in anthologies and numerous journals, including American Jewish History, Modern Judaism and the Journal of Social History.

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