Dissent in the Heartland
The Sixties at Indiana University
Published by: Indiana University Press
232 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 17 b&w photos, 1 bibliog., 1 index
- Published: September 2002
"More than other local histories of campus activism during this period, Dissent in the Heartland introduces national themes and events, and successfully places Indiana University into that context. The research in primary sources, including FBI files, along with numerous interviews, is superior, and the writing is lucid and at times provocative."
—Terry H. Anderson, author of The Sixties
This grassroots view of student activism in the 1960s chronicles the years of protest at one Midwestern university. Located in a region of farmland, conservative politics, and traditional family values, Indiana University was home to antiwar protestors, civil rights activists, members of the counterculture, and feminists who helped change the heart of Middle America. Its students made their voices heard on issues from such local matters as dorm curfews and self-governance to national issues of racism, sexism, and the Vietnam War. Their recognition that the personal was the political would change them forever. The protest movement they helped shape would reach into the heartland in ways that would redefine higher education, politics, and cultural values.
Based on research in primary sources, interviews, and FBI files, Dissent in the Heartland reveals the Midwestern pulse of the Sixties, beating firmly, far from the elite schools and urban centers of the East and West.
Preliminary Table of Contents:
1. The Dawn of Dissent
2. The Awakening of Activism
3. The Antiwar Movement
4. A Precarious Peace
5. Student Rights/Civil Rights: African Americans and the Struggle for Racial Justice
6. The Women's Movement: An Idea Whose Time Had Come
7. Bloomington and the Counterculture in Southern Indiana
Epilogue: The End of an Era at Indiana University
At first glance, Wynkoop (history, Univ. of Missouri) appears to present a rather mundane story of the 1960s at Indiana University in Bloomington. But the reader needs to plod on doggedly to look beyond the myriad of sometimes disparate observations and find a first-rate example of grassroots, as opposed to elite focused, history. This splendid historical piece demonstrates an important point: how the convergence of local events and values associated with the civil rights, antiwar, and women's movements of that era transformed the culture of a unique town and gown community. A relatively conservative campus and its surrounding city were changed profoundly by students, who for the most part mobilized around purely local and very personal issues, including dormitory hour restrictions for women students on campus. By concentrating on institutional and community effects, this book becomes a perfect complement to the more personality based and entertaining Miriam Horn's Rebels in White Gloves (1999). Wynkoop provides evidence of the policy effects of three significant vehicles that further participatory democracy: interest groups, mass movements, and community opinion. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.~W. P. Browne, Choice