A quicky around-the-world tour of student radicalism, with historical flashbacks, designed to show that recent U.S. campus...

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TOWN AND GOWN

A quicky around-the-world tour of student radicalism, with historical flashbacks, designed to show that recent U.S. campus explosions are neither unique nor particularly radical. Student movements in Western Europe are summarized country by country; structure, organization, goals, tactics, and relationships to extant regimes and dissident leftist political parties are surveyed. Asia, Latin America, and Africa receive shallow continent-wide treatment which is especially unsatisfactory in the case of Latin America where Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, et al. are swept up in such grandiose generalizations as ""they (Latin American students) consider themselves leaders of the less vocal elements of the population: the workers and the agrarian masses."" Some of the European pieces are no better with Spanish students disposed of by Enrique Tierno Galvan as an illegal but ""particularly effective"" pressure group; the volatile Italian student movement, which played a key role in the 1968-69 frenzy of anti-government strikes, is decried for assuming ""sinister, anti-intellectual, even fascist dimensions"" on the basis of some graffiti (""Rape your Alma Mater"") which the author, Federico Mancini, disliked. DeConde's introductory essay offers some well-worn cliches about the variety of forms which student activism can assume but fails to set up any parameters for when students rebel. Apart from historians Charles H. Haskins and Priscilla Robertson who are mined for some glimpses of medieval universities and the 1848 revolutions, the contributors are undistinguished and inadequately introduced in DeConde's meager scope notes. A disdainful assessment of Berkeley (""outdated and romantic visions"") by Nathan Glazer compares the FSM to Luddite machine breakers. A facile potpourri of a salable subject which scatters bits of information but contributes no real understanding.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1971

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1971