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Book Review


Book Review: The Development of Academic Freedom in the United States & Academic Freedom in Our Time, 65 Yale L.J. 578 (1956)


Academic freedom has been the subject of an extraordinary amount of recent discussion, especially since the University of Washington cases in 1948 precipitated the issue of Communist professors. New attempts to restate the general theory of freedom to teach and freedom to learn keep appearing; new rationalizations for barring (or not barring) Communists from the campus abound. The latest additions to the discussion are two substantial volumes made possible by the generosity of Yale's frequent benefactor Louis M. Rabinowitz. In this instance Mr. Rabinowitz's concern for a substantial inquiry into academic freedom was—shall I say diverted?—to Columbia, and the project was placed under the direction of the eminent political philosopher Robert M. MacIver. Professor MacIver himself took on the toughest part of the project—the assessment of the current state of academic freedom. His colleagues put their massive scholarly labors into tracing the historical background up through the founding of the American Association of University Professors in 1915 and the loyalty dismissals of World War I. They consequently had a vantage point in time from which to survey their subject. The last half-decade was, heaven knows, a precarious and fog-shrouded perch; but it at least removed them from the events they were appraising.

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