California Studies Association

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Lincoln Cushing on “The Clark Kerr (mis)quote Adventure”

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Lincoln Cushing has written a fascinating small piece on the history (and generally ignored) context of a well known quotation from former (and famous) University of California Chancellor Clark Kerr.

The quotation dates from 1959; often referred to, Cushing recently found it in an 1961 article in The Nation by Jessica Mitford Treuhaft. The words of the quote are, “The employers will love this generation, they are not going to press many grievances. They are going to be easy to handle. There aren’t going to be any riots.” Even from Mitford Treuhaft’s perspective in 1961, the ironies seemed obvious.

Cushing noted that the citation for the quotation in the 1961 article was vague (“Buried somewhere in a 1959 publication of the American Council of Education reporting a conference . . .”) and decided to do some sleuthing to find out if the quotation was bona fide. What he learned was interesting — about the possible meaning of the quotation and its context.

To read Cushing’s full piece, click here.

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