McCormick of Rutgers: Scholar, Teacher, Public Historian

By Michael J. Birkner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3

Life at Rutgers: Doing Public History in the 1950s and 1960s

MB: Were you close to your colleagues at Rutgers?

RM: I felt close to a great many members of the department. However, I did not hang around the office and spend a lot of time gossiping, chatting, whatever you might call it. Frankly, I was too busy for that, so I was less involved in on-the-scene socializing, I suppose, than many other members of the department. What happened essentially was, as we got into the 1960s, there was a considerable expansion in the size of the department, because we were now in the period of expanding the university to accommodate “baby-boomers.” Hence, we had a great many new people, who in many instances reflected what we might generally call the new influences of the 1960s in terms of politics, lifestyles, and academic interests; and as a consequence something of a generation gap manifested itself between the older members of the department—those who had, for the most part, joined the department between 1945 and 1960—and those who arrived later on. And obviously, the older members of the department were senior not only in years but in rank, and consequently wielded a great deal of influence in terms of tenure and promotion. That created some divisions, and, moreover, as I say, the generational differences as reflected in the 1960s also created differences. So, for a time, there was a great deal of tension in the department.

-81-

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McCormick of Rutgers: Scholar, Teacher, Public Historian
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Path to a Life with History 41
  • Chapter 2 - Revitalizing the Study of New Jersey History 61
  • Chapter 3 - Life at Rutgers: Doing Public History in the 1950s and 1960s 81
  • Chapter 4 - Championing a New Political History 109
  • Chapter 5 - The Turbulent ’60s at Rutgers 137
  • Chapter 6 - Doing History: Reflections 157
  • Notes 175
  • Selected Bibliography of Mccormick’s Publications 205
  • Bibliography 209
  • Index 219
  • Recent Titles in Studies in Historiography 231
  • About the Author 233
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