Book Review: Berkeley at War

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Rorabaugh, W.J. Berkeley at War: The 1960s. New York : Oxford University Press, 1989 During the tumultuous times of the 1960, the University of California at Berkeley was at the center of dissent present throughout the country. W.J. Rorabaugh’s book Berkeley at War offers a reasonably objective look at the different components of, what came to be known as, the Movement. Because it is lacking the ideological influence of many books about this time period, it offers a much needed non-bias account. In order to avoid such biases, Rorabaugh utilizes documents from the period such as city records, manuscripts, and periodicals, without the advent of reflective interviews from participants in the festivities. It is a book written by a historian, “not the memoir of an eyewitness.”(XII) Berkeley at War deals with the development of radicalism within the city as well as city politics in general and offers one of the best accounts of the duality between the city and university. It follows the progression from the 1960 SLATE demonstration against the House Committee on Un-American Activities to the rise of the Free Speech Movement to the fall of People’s Park. W.J. Rorabaugh attended and received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and then attended graduate school at University of California at Berkeley where he graduated in 1976. He is a scholar of the history of beer in America; his book The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition he accounts for the extremely high alcohol consumption in nineteenth century America. He highlights American’s preference for whiskey and cider over beer because of its high alcohol content. In his recent works on the 1960s, he advocates a redefinition of the 1960s arguing that the sixties did not start until 1965 or end until 1975. Rorabaugh divides the book into four chapters and gives them colorful titles; White, Black, Red,

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