CRISIS AT ST. JOHN'S by Roland & Joseph Scimecca Damiano


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At St. John's University in December of 1965 a faculty was, for the first time in the history of higher education in the U.S., in open and public revolt against its administration. Written by two of the strikers, Crisis at St. John's relates the events surrounding the firing of twenty faculty members in the largest Catholic university in the world. The authors have a larger purpose, however, than merely reiterating a story which has been extensively covered in magazines and the press. Their primary objective is to describe the kind of community ""whose social, educational and religious needs are serviced by St. John's University."" For it is evident that the action taken by the University's administration was consistent not with the larger academic world nor with public opinion but with the values of the lower-middle-class right-wing Brooklyn and Queens populations from which St. John's students are drawn. One of the most outstanding facts in the confrontation was the bland and impassive attitude of the students--in an era of student rebellion throughout the nation. The authors are then drawn on to some of the more complex problems involved in Catholic higher education and they also briefly deal with some of the steps which have been taken lately to ""modernize"" some Catholic colleges and universities. Crisis at St. John's is basically a descriptive (the authors are sociologists) and orderly presentation of a singular event and its ramifications. So far as it goes, it does its job clearly and concisely.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1967
Publisher: Random House