[sixties-l] Street, radio, and university professor

From: William M. Mandel (wmmmandel@earthlink.net)
Date: Tue Mar 06 2001 - 18:27:49 EST

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    I have just read a sad message, "Farewell to Academe," by a social
    science professor of 32 years experience. He is retiring because he
    finds students "increasingly disinterested" and having "a kind of almost
    wilful ignorance that has to be experienced to be believed."
    Administrators are "cynical" and even leftist professors are "perpetual
    conference goers and vita builders, intent on making names for
    themselves and impressing their more orthodox colleagues."
        In January I applied to present, wrote and sent off, a paper to a
    panel titled "Connecting Classroom, Community, and Social Movements" at
    this year's convention of the American Sociological Association. The
    very title suggests an attempt to confront the problems the retiring
    professor describes. My paper was a description of how I personally
    dealt with them, in a manner that made me feel useful.
        My offer was turned down (I have presented many papers, and all have
    later been published.) The nature of the rejection suggests that the
    professor in charge fits the description of those the quoted retiring
    academic complains about. I think that what I proposed to say will be of
    interest to the very diverse group of people to whom I'm sending this,
    not only the professors on my list. Here it is:


                                by William Mandel

        My father was a Communist of the pro-Soviet variety. In consequence,

    at age ten, in 1927, I joined the Young Pioneers, the Communist
    children's organization, whose activities have just been described in a
    Columbia University Press book, RAISING REDS, by Paul Mishler of the
    University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A
    fascinating sub-chapter is titled: "Socialist Education, Proletarian
    Education, and the Communist Children's Movement."
        The entire focus of our activity was on connecting classroom,
    community, and social movements. I do not recall any courses in our own
    organization, but remember that in the summer camp I attended, with the
    supposedly Indian-sounding name, Wochica, contracted from "Workers
    Children's Camp," I learned labor songs of the IWW -- Industrial Workers

    of the World -- from one of its members who, like its prime leader, Big
    Bill Haywood, had turned Communist.
        In the city, we were very strongly involved in school affairs.
    Overcrowding was horrendous in my junior high school of 3,500 children.
    The first issue of the monthly paper put out by our Young Pioneer troop
    carried a cover cartoon with kids popping out of the windows, from under

    the roof, and even from the chimney. There were morning and afternoon
    shifts, plus another starting at noon for first and second graders.
    Although the building was six stories high and a block long, no room was

    found for a buffet or cafeteria. Kids usually brought lunches from home
    and ate seated on the floor of the gymnasium, taking in their food along

    with the odor of sweat.
        The Pioneers began issuing leaflets demanding that a new school be
    built nearby to relieve the overcrowding, and also that a cafeteria be
    opened at my P.S. 61. Young Pioneers' meetings were often devoted to a
    serious discussion of what student self-government should be like. It
    was decided to demand the right to vote for seventh-graders, in the
    student government the principal had established,-- in addition to the
    eighth and ninth-graders he had endowed with the franchise, to launch a
    third party with a platform (those the principal had established had
    none), and to nominate candidates. A founding convention was held in the

    school auditorium, and the new party was given the name, Progressive. It

    put forth a three-plank platform: 1) open a cafeteria; 2) reduce
    overcrowding, and 3) bring that about by building an annex. A coalition
    was formed with the Tempo Party, which gladly endorsed the platform. Of
    the seven candidates on the joint slate, five won. [For these details I
    draw upon the memoir of our leader, Harry Eisman, KRASNYE GALSTUKI V
    STRANE DOLLARA (Red Neckerchiefs in the Land of the Dollar), Moscow,
    1966. Born in Moldavia, then under the Romanian monarchy, orphaned at
    seven, and an immigrant at nine, he was deported for sticking a
    safety-pin into the rump of a mounted
    policeman's horse ridden into a demonstration against the Boy Scouts,
    which we regarded as militaristic. A mass campaign won him the right to
    emigrate to the Soviet Union, whose Young Pioneers had invited him. He
    fought in the infantry as a Red Army volunteer all through World War II,

    including the Battle of Stalingrad, and died in the relatively moderate
    Brezhnev era.]
        The school principal realized that his legislature had changed from
    a body designed perhaps to give pupils a taste for politics into one
    acting effectively in the interests of workingclass children, so he
    dissolved it and set up an appointive honor society instead.
        To me, the most important aspect of Young Pioneer activities was
    assistance to strikes, and to strikers' families and children. This
    faced me with the first important psychological decision of my life, the

    first involving courage. A coal miners' strike in 1927 lasted a full
    year, and the workers and their families literally starved before
    finally giving in. The Young Pioneers participated in collecting food,
    clothing, and money. I don't know whether my fear of participating had
    anything to do with possible physical danger: being roughed up by police

    or whoever. They were more probably the fears of an intellectual kid
    whose life had been spent going to school, roller-skating and playing
    ball games, reading and listening to his father talk. Now I had to go
    out and put my body where my heart was.
        I do know that nothing that I have done since took as much guts as
    forcing myself, at age ten, to take one of the collection cans into the
    New York subway on a Saturday morning, and spend that full day and all
    the next day going from car to car calling out, "Help the starving
    miners' children!"
        As the weekend progressed, it seemed that my arm would fall off. No
    one on the miners' side could afford to give paper money -- $25 a week
    was then the average workingperson's wage -- so the can, like an
    oversize beer can with cardboard side, got full and fuller with coins. I

    could have burst with pride when it was broken open to count the
    contents when I brought it in. $18.03. That number has stayed with me
    for a lifetime. It is equivalent to a couple of hundred dollars in
    purchasing power today.
       My own first organized teaching came at age 17. I had been one of 21
    students expelled from CCNY for opposition to ROTC (some student issues
    never change). In my case it was also for asking a devastating question
    of the
    college president at a compulsory convocation about his bringing police
    on campus to disperse, including by the use of beatings, an indoor
    meeting of a recognized student club. It was seeking to combat the
    of fees in this hitherto free college at the very bottom of the Great
    Depression. The Workers' School, a Communist Party institution teaching
    Marxist economics, Leninist politics, dialectical materialist
    philosophy, and the history of the labor movement, offered scholarships
    to all of the expellees interested in studying there. A measure of the
    mood of the day is that enrollment, 3,000, was as large as that of CCNY
    in that time when higher education was virtually the
    exclusive province of the well-to-do but for a tiny handful of free
        I took up the offer, and gobbled up everything offered, stimulated
    by the fact that I had studied Marx' Capital as required reading in the
    compulsory Political Economy course at Moscow University. I had
    entered it on a biochemistry track immediately after high-school
    graduation, when my father took the family to the Soviet Union, offering

    his civil engineering skills in the cause of "building socialism." That
    is where I acquired the knowledge of Russian that opened the door to my
    later career as a Sovietologist.
         I also got a very practical look at the relationship between
    education, community, and social movements. In the first place, my
    fellow-students were, with but a single exception,
    affirmative-action people, a Soviet invention. That year, 1932, was the
    first in which the recently established system of Workers' Departments,
    essentially prep schools for working people, free with living expenses
    paid and housing provided, turned out enough graduates so the government

    could carry out in practice its program of providing that class with
    higher education. In addition to the affirmative-action entrants on the
    basis of class, there were those to whom admission was granted on
    grounds of ethnicity. Although, in proportion to population, there
    should have been one Jew in the class, in fact there were six, to make
    up for the discrimination they had suffered under the quota system of
    Tsarist times. It was the very provision in the internal passport
    identifying all Soviet citizens by ethnicity that got them in.
        Another aspect of education there that accords with our
    subject-matter today is that all students who were members of the Young
    Communist League were required to participate in after-school teaching
    of literacy to the new workingclass in the plants mushrooming in and
    around Moscow during this penultimate
    year of the First Five-Year Plan. This meant piling into open trucks,
    driving an hour or so to the building site, teaching for an hour or two,

    being driven back, then to their incredibly overcrowded dormitories to
    hit the books. That was much more difficult for them than for me despite
    language problem. I was, so to speak, a professional student,
    while for them this was a new endeavor.
        The notion of the relationship between education and social movement

    was very high in their minds. Before returning to the United States, I
    got the head of the Young Communist League group in a corner. I said to
    him that
    at the rate he and his fellow students were going in that extremely
    hungry year, they'd probably die of tuberculosis by the time they were
    forty, and what was the point? He looked at me as though I were out of
    my mind, and answered: "We're building socialism." To him that was no
    slogan. He had been a shepherd in his native Armenia, a country that had

    suffered genocide at Turkish hands in his own lifetime (they were all in

    their twenties). He had been able to advance to being an urban
    worker and had been selected to go to the finest Soviet university.
    If he completed it successfully, he had a position waiting for
    him on the faculty of a higher education institution in Armenia then
    under construction.
        In a very different context, I witnessed the difference between
    socialization in the American and Canadian school systems on the one
    hand, and the Soviet on the other. The number of kids native to English
    because their parents had taken jobs in Moscow was enough for an
    Anglo-American School to have been established. The pupils were given a
    winter vacation at a camp outside the city. I was asked to accompany
    them because, although I was of the same age as they, I had the prestige

    of being a university student. Upon arrival, we found skis stacked
    behind a door. The toughest kids grabbed what they thought were the
    best, carved their initials in them, and announced they would knock the
    daylights out of anyone else who used them. The Soviet counselors
    proceeded to teach the idea of public property, and actually got the
    Americans and Canadians (I don't recall any British) to ostracize the
        It goes without saying that the education offered by the New York
    Workers School corrresponded in purpose and emphasis exactly to the
    title and subtitle of our session here today. At the end of the year
    during which I took a full load of its courses, the director invited me
    in and asked if I'd like to teach there. I certainly did. He asked my
    age and I said nineteen, which would have made me the youngest teacher
    by far. Actually I was seventeen, but I didn't want to be turned down.
        I wanted desperately to be a good teacher, and judging by student
    attendance records, I was the second best in a faculty of dozens. There
    were no required educational techniques. I employed what I later learned

    to be the Socratic method. I didn't know of its existence.
        I wanted people to think for themselves and I was quite sure of my
    convictions. I believed that if I developed a sequence of discussion
    questions, then the students' daily lives -- they were primarily
    workers, although one of mine was Gale Sondergaard, who later became a
    prominent actress in Hollywood and early TV before blacklisting -- plus
    our reading materials, followed by simple deduction would produce what I

    regarded as the right answer. From that I would then proceed to my next
    prepared question.
        The students were all older than I, some old enough to be my
    parents, except for one who was only six weeks my senior. I know her age

    because I'm married to her.
        I am grateful that I have never been an academic snob in any
    context. I was the only teacher in that Workers' School who did not
    regard it as beneath his dignity to go downstairs to the pressroom of
    the Communist DAILY WORKER after my evening's teaching was over, pick up

    the biggest armload I could tote, about fifty, of the next morning's
    paper, and go out to Union Square to hawk it. Most often it was the
    passing East Side working people who bought them. Evening-session
    students at Washington Irving High School, up the block on Irving Place,

    would come by for a paper. I learned to develop the most saleable
    shouting headline from whatever was on the front page. Sixty years
    later, when I found homeless people in Berkeley unsuccessful in hawking
    their monthly paper at movie theaters, I reached back into memory to
    teach them how to find catchy headline slogans to shout.
        I taught for only a year at the New York Workers' School, for I was
    then asked to go to Cleveland to run the Communist bookstore and build
    the circulation of the paper in Ohio. I also taught at its Workers'
    School, where the students were chiefly Slavic. When employed, they
    worked in steel mills, machine-tool-manufacturing enterprises, and White

    Truck and Fisher Body of the auto industry.
        Next I was transferred to Akron, then world center of the tire
    industry, to head its Young Communist League. There it had about 100
    primarily Black, because of the prestige Communists had won both in
    fighting for welfare, non-existent before the Great Depression, in
    physically putting back the furniture of evicted families, in leading
    the first major sit-down strike in American history (preceding the
    well-known one in Flint, Michigan), but above all for insisting that the
    new Rubber Workers' Union not only accept African-Americans as
    equals but also demand their advancement out of the heaviest and
    dirtiest jobs. The YCL could pay no salary, and I earned my living as a
    teacher on WPA. This was the famous Roosevelt program of made work that,
    as is
    obvious from my employment, did more than build bridges, parks, and
    public buildings. I taught current events. As previously, I found that
    teaching people with experience in the world of work, attending just
    because they were interested, as no credits were involved, was vastly
    more challenging than my later experience in higher education, where my
    students fundamentally knew nothing of life.
        Here the relationship between education, community, and social
    movement involved a significant event in the sphere of race. A statewide

    conference of WPA teachers was held. We sang the Star-Spangled Banner,
    and then the few African-American teachers struck up the Negro National
    Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." The few whites who knew it, as I
    did from my Communist upbringing, also sang. A few more whites,
    seeing us stand, rose to their feet. The next day a white fellow-teacher

    whom I had liked said, in our teachers' room between classes: "Hell,
    where I come from we just rolled 'em over and shoved it in." There is a
    connection between that memory and the fact that, although I am white,
    The Black Scholar chose to review my autobiography, SAYING NO TO POWER,
    in a recent
    issue, and that I was asked to be the Martin Luther King Day speaker by
    an African-American woman this past January in a nearly all-white city
    on the West Coast.
        World War II brought a sudden and drastic change in my relationship
    to teaching. This country, raised to believe that if that war occurred,
    it would be against godless communism, found itself allied with the
    godless communists, and learned that it didn't know the most basic
    things of a practical nature needed to make that alliance work: such
    things as the carrying capacity of the Trans-Siberian Railroad for
    Lend-Lease shipments, the tonnage of ships the ports of Vladivostok and
    Murmansk and Arkhangelsk could accomodate, the degree to which those
    ports did or didn't ice up, when, and for how long.
        I had found a job in New York in 1940 at the tiny private
    American Russian Institute that was the country's only research center
    in that field. There was no CIA, there was one person as a Russian Unit
    in the Commerce Department, and not over a dozen who had worked at our
    Moscow Embassy since Roosevelt extended recognition to the USSR sixteen
    years after its establishment). I very quickly became the know-it-all in

    the field, publishing in that institute's quarterly learned journal and
    a weekly bulletin established when Hitler attacked the USSR.
        In 1943 I was asked to teach in the Army Specialized Training
    Program at Syracuse
    University. The original idea was for me to head the program, but when
    they discovered I was 26 and had no higher education (one semester at
    Moscow; one year at CCNY before expulsion, after which I had refused to
    make the apology that would have reinstated me), they put it in the
    hands of a professor who bragged that he had been teaching Russian
    history for ten years without ever having visited the place.
        At Syracuse I hung with the students, some Black, in the dives they
    could afford, and hope I succeeded in giving them some notion of what
    that society was trying to accomplish.
        In 1943 I had one of the most rewarding teaching experiences in my
    life. The previous year I had been invited to Toronto to speak at a
    stupendous Congress of Canadian-Soviet Friendship, along with Norbert
    Wiener, founder of information theory, then world-famous Arctic explorer

    Vilhjalmur Stefansson, and Edgar Snow, newsman who was literally a
    household name for his RED STAR OVER CHINA. Probably because of the
    impression I left there, also on a nationwide CBC broadcast, and at a
    Canadian Army camp where I addressed men my own age who would soon be
    sent to be massacred in the Dieppe raid on the Nazi-held French coast, I

    was invited to be, for a week, the "faculty" at the Workers' Education
    Association Labor College, sponsored by official Canadian organized
    labor. Afterward I wrote my parents, referring to a particularly warm
    reception by a workingclass folkdance festival crowd in San Francisco:
    "My only other such experience was a class literally bursting into
    tears...after I had had them for a whole week."
           There was still a lot of British formality in Canada's culture
    then, and for the young
    worker-students to find their professor to be someone who was not only
    in their own age range, but who knew every labor and pop song, was a
    tireless and improvising social dancer, and played a fair game of
    softball, apparently had had an emotional impact. So, doubtless, was the

    fact that I placed no limit of time or place upon answering their
    questions. My then very recent experiences as a workingman and
    participant in labor struggles must have given my talks a relevance to
    them that might not have come from someone with an academic approach.
        My first book appeared in 1944, getting reviews in the NY Times
    Sunday Book Section and just about everywhere else one could want one.
    My second, in 1946, not only got the same treatment, but was one of the
    first two volumes ever used as a text on the USSR in American higher
        In 1947 I was invited to take up a fellowship at post-doctoral level

    at Stanford's Hoover Institution, but Truman proclaimed the Cold War in
    his Fulton, Missouri, speech, with Winston Churchill on the platform, in

    a matter of weeks. Here the relationship to community and social
    movements became front and center. In those years when a B.A. got you an

    assistant professorship, an M.A. an associate, and a Ph.D. a full, it
    was just not the done thing for someone with faculty status to write in
    a student newspaper. I wrote a documented slashing attack on the Cold
    War in the Stanford Daily, and spoke at a meeting in the Palo Alto
    Public Library, called by a new liberal veterans' organization.
    The Stanford Daily article brought a response from a Baltic fascist, a
    I always use with extreme circumspection, because fascism is too serious

    a matter to cry wolf about. The public lecture was the first occasion in

    my experience when police went around noting the license plates of the
    cars parked in the vicinity. McCarthyism was just around the corner.
        I banged away at the Cold War in public lectures, conferences at
    least one of which was reported in the press with my remarks turned into

    their opposite, and academic gatherings.
        Hoover Institution fellowships are frequently lifetime posts. Mine
    not renewed, on the grounds of lack of funds, although the director,
    best defined as a Lincoln Republican, actually offered me retention of
    my large private office and unlimited access to the extraordinary
    archive (which Condoleeza Rice, in one of her last acts as Stanford
    Provost before becoming National Security Advisor, ordered dispersed for

    reasons of economy!). I had acted as his teaching assistant on occasion
    when he was away. These were graduate students, all war veterans, some
    of whom went on to distinguished academic careers. But at a faculty and
    administration reception I was not at, someone asked the director
    belligerently: "What is Mandel doing here?" One of my students told me
    the next morning that the response was: "He knows more about the USSR
    than anyone else in the United States."
        For the record, that cannot be said of me or of any individual today
    or for
    the past third of a century, i.e., since the enormous focus on
    Sovietology produced several thousand Ph.Ds on every detail of that
    country's economy, government, history, language, and military. At the
    time that remark was made, there were no more than a few dozen of us.
        While at Stanford, I spent as much time as possible an hour north at

    the California Labor School in San Francisco. Although it was identical
    to the New York Workers' School and the later Jefferson School there in
    having been founded by the Communist Party, the extraordinary autonomy
    and unity of organized labor in San Francisco thanks to the
    longshoremen-led general strike of 1934 won it a legal status difficult
    to believe today. It was actually accredited by the government as a
    school World War II veterans could attend and receive their GI Bill
    financial support for. For me personally, it was the place where I, an
    Easterner, made my first acquaintance with Mexican and Chicano culture,
    particularly dance. At my HUAC hearing in 1960, a question posed to me
    was: "Did you lecture at the California Labor School in 1947?" My
    response pleased the audience: "I did. It was on Shostakovich' oratorio
    'Song of the Forest.' Whaddaya know about that?"
        The long night of Truman-McCarthyism closed in for me after the
    Hoover appointment, and it was 27 years before I again had a paid
    association with higher education. It was also18 before a publisher
    touch me again, although prior to that I had had four book contracts
    with advances in four years. My teaching returned to that sponsored by
    the Far Left. I gave courses in the Jefferson School in New York, an
    organization sponsored by the Communist Party but staffed by faculty
    with all the proper letters after their names who had been fired
    primarily during the period of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact of
        Again, my lack of academic snobbery stood me in good stead. I
    was now in my thirties, with books and a distinguished appointment in my

    background, but it never occurred to me that that should cause me to
    hesitate to take a course in Negro literature taught by Lorraine
    Hansberry, then I think about 19 and not yet the famous playwright of
    "Raisin in the Sun." She and I stood in line for unemployment insurance
    together in our Washington Heights neighborhood. Years later I had the
    sad experience of bringing to her husband, for her, a Berkeley Free
    Speech Movement pin, on the day before she died.
        By the same token, I did not hesitate to attend a course on the
    Soviet Union taught by the just-returned Daily Worker correspondent in
    Moscow, only to find that the textbook in his hand was my A GUIDE TO THE

    SOVIET UNION, a volume in use at Yale, Stanford, and elsewhere.
        Likewise, in my own course, I invited to lecture the one truly
    Soviet Communist available, although he was a Black American. His
    mother, a Communist, had been fired from her job as a New York City
    schoolteacher for trying to organize a union, years before its extremely

    powerful union was built, largely by Communists. She went to Moscow and
    became the English voice of Radio Moscow. The son, Neil Burroughs, was
    five when taken there, and spoke English with a heavy Russian accent
    when he returned at the end of World War II.
        He was deeply hurt by the fact that, while in Moscow he had been a
    student of literature at
    Moscow University, and an essay of his on Turgenev appeared in a Pocket
    Book here of that classical author's work, back home in America he could

    only get a job on a radio assembly line. Later, when his Russian got him

    another in the one New York bookstore then selling Soviet books, he was
    kept in the basement, because a Black face serving customers on Fifth
    Avenue in the late 1940s was unthinkable.
        When I left the Communist Party in 1957 over its refusal to take
    policy positions independent of those of the Soviet Union, and
    particularly with respect to that country (Khrushchev had made his
    "secret speech" denouncing Stalin's crimes), there was no more teaching
    for me at places under its control. We moved to Berkeley, and, within a
    month, although I was not sympathetic to Trotskyism, the Socialist
    Workers' Party invited me, and I accepted, teaching a course on the
    USSR. The Berkeley Left was sensible. The Black editor-to-be of the
    Communist Party's PEOPLE'S VOICE, then already a member of that
    organization, attended. So did graduate student Bogdan Denitch, bitterly

    anti-Soviet and a social-democrat, who is now a well-known professor
    emeritus of City College in New York. Another student was a Trotskyist
    later became a lifetime figure in academic labor education. Years
    afterward he
    wrote me that my testimony before the House Un-American Activities
    Committee in San Francisco in 1960 had determined him to face jail, if
    necessary, if a similar subpoena ever befell him.
        For me, the HUAC subpoena was a wonderful break. The '60s mood had
    just arisen among students, they thought my words -- as of this year
    used in six documentary films and probably a dozen TV specials -- were
    inspiring, and in consequence, when the Free Speech Movement arose in
    1964, they put me on its executive committee. As I drafted this very
    presentation, I received an approving e-mail on a speech this past
    week-end, from a colleague of that time, Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of

        I took a very direct, if at this point informal, in education at the

    university. When I gave the first of six lectures outdoors in Lower
    Sproul Plaza, 600 students were waiting when I got there. On another
    occasion, I was asked to debate the Jerry Falwell of that day, Fred
    Schwarz, an Australian M.D. who headed the Christian Anti-Communism
    Crusade. The crowd filled Wheeler Auditorium and two overflow halls to
    which the event was piped, and the Fire Department had to close the
    doors for safety. I treasure a photo of the ineffable David Horowitz
    applauding me like crazy in the standing ovation at the end.
        The students wanted a better education than the university was
    giving. They established a Free University, at which I taught. I was not

    the least bit surprised that attendance, although comparable to that in
    others of its courses, dropped off. I was teaching about the Soviet
    Union, and they were looking for a Utopia. I didn't believe in any, any
    more. But I did my best to improve the education they were getting at UC

    Berkeley, because I knew that their expressed contempt for it would not
    withstand their desire and need for degrees. I detailed my view on this
    in what amounted to a valedictory speech at the last meeting of the FSM
    Executive Committee, which I titled "The Free University or Freeing THE
        I also wrote a detailed department-by-department analysis, "The
    Whiteness of the University," front-paged in two consecutive issues of
    the Berkeley Barb, the first great alternative newspaper, which at one
    point reached 100,000 circulation nationwide. I pointed out how white
    students were losing by the absence of the perspective of Black
    professors in all sorts of courses, from Agriculture and Architecture
    through the alphabet. To the best of my knowledge, that was the first
    such analysis, by anyone of either race, of the meaning of the absence
    Black faculty in American higher education. Within one year, without
    acknowledging my contribution, UC Berkeley had taken its first steps to
    improve that situation.
        The students demanded a say in naming those who taught them.
    Sociology professors of national reputation went to bat to get me an
    appointment in that department. In the light of my having held a
    post-doctoral appointment a quarter-century earlier, and the fact that I

    had by now published three books, most recently SOVIET WOMEN, written
    specifically to serve the new feminist movement, all in use in higher
    education (the last quite widely), I asked for full-professor salary,
    pro-rated down to the level of my duties. My sponsors compromised on the

    associate-professor level. The evaluations by my students were
    excellent, but Gov. Ronald Reagan said publicly that the professors had
    better watch out who they appointed, or he would oppose any raises by
    the legislature. So they did not re-appoint me at UC Berkeley, and
    dropped Angela Davis at UCLA. Matters were not helped by the fact that I

    had, as a matter of conscience, taken my course off campus during the
    Third-World Strike which occurred that quarter, and had been very
    visible during the period of martial law in Berkeley over the building
    of a People's Park by street people and students. This was on land that
    university wished to make yet another parking structure. At one point
    National Guard bayonets were just a couple of feet from my chest as I
    called upon the students not to run but to retreat slowly, facing the
        There were educational satisfactions nonetheless. A superb
    high-school and junior-college teacher of government, Virginia Franklin,

    winner of many awards, herself never to the left of the New Deal wing of

    the Democratic Party, would assign my mid-sixties book, RUSSIA
    RE-EXAMINED, to her classes so they would have to think through their
    attitudes to the competing systems. When a Black female student of her's

    at Merritt College, then a ghetto institution, wrote nearly 20 very
    thoughtful pages in a report on my book, I was thrilled almost to tears.

    While Virginia always invited me to address her classes, I would often
    be invited by others. A Black teacher once invited me to Oakland Tech,
    another ghetto school, and the students were so stimulated that they
    wrote an imitation radio program presenting the ideas and views that had

    batted back and forth in consequence.
        The teaching at informal educational institutions continued. Only
    two years after arriving in Berkeley my broadcasts on Pacifica's
    original and then only station, KPFA, brought me an invitation from the
    American Friends Service Committee to be part of the tiny "faculty" at
    annual high-school department camp at Lake Tahoe. Another member was the

    wonderful old longshoreman, seaman, and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln
    Battalion in Spain, Bill Bailey, whose "dese, dem, and dose" Hoboken
    English gave the kids in attendance a sense of the workingclass that
    nothing short of a factory job could have provided. It is my belief,
    which a musicologist might investigate, that what came to be known as
    the San Francisco sound arose among the kids there that summer, one of
    whom was Joan Baez.
        No sooner had the Sixties ended than an entirely new and different
    issue brought me to teach again. Angela Davis was tried for murder.
    Ghetto people became active on her behalf. Under the auspices of her
    defense committee, I taught a class in Oakland on how to read the
    newspaper, not in the sense of literacy but in dealing with such
    problems as reporting on the Attica, New York, massacre of prisoners by
    guards after an uprising provoked by intolerable conditions.
        The 1970s were tough. A teaching offer from the Economics Department

    at San Francisco State University, in which ten of 13 faculty voted in
    my favor, was vetoed by someone high in the administration, probably
    President Hayakawa. The faculty had just gone through a long strike, and

    confessed frankly that they were simply too fatigued to undertake
    another battle.
    The Associated Students at San Jose State University hired me at
    pro-rated full-professor salary, and the president there cancelled the
    Philosophy Department's offer of credit for the course. The chair was on

    the verge of tendering his resignation, but I convinced him that the
    university needed precisely professors such as he, so he compromised by
    taking a year's sabbatical.
        In 1975 a student activist of the Sixties, now at the Law School of
    Golden Gate University in San Francisco, highly regarded for the crop of

    working lawyers it had produced over the years, proposed and got them to

    engage me to teach a course in Soviet law. I still treasure the term
    papers turned in. But the steam had gone out of the student movement,
    and that was my last formal appointment.
        From then until 1995 my teaching took the form of my broadcasts over

    KPFA, in which the question-answer phone-in period was the most popular.

    Lstener mail volunteered such thoughts as that my program was
    "like a postgraduate course." Here, too, of course, there was the most
    direct relationship to social movements. I was finally dropped because I

    undertook to defend affirmative action against a popular and actually
    liberal columnist who thought that a policy of color-blindness would
    suffice. Station management, now essentially desiring that there be no
    criticism of Bill Clinton from the left, did not want the subject aired,

    although the manager was an African-American woman.
        When KPFA let me go, a station near Stanford offered me a weekly
    hour, and Free Radio Berkeley, an unlicensed lower-power FM station,
    gave me all the time I desired. When the latter was driven off the air
    by federal court injunction, I offered to go to jail as a test case in
    1999, but the matter became moot. Today I broadcast on its successor,
    Berkeley Liberation Radio, and on a web station run by an extraordinary
    man with severe cerebral palsy, www.luver.com. My program is titled
    "Thinking Out Loud With Bill Mandel," and it is essentially a running
    treatment of the subject of this session.


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