Cover image for Ivy and industry : business and the making of the American university, 1880-1980
Ivy and industry : business and the making of the American university, 1880-1980
Newfield, Christopher.
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Publication Information:
Durham : Duke University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
290 pages ; 25 cm
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Table of contents
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LC1085.2 .N39 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Emphasizing how profoundly the American research university has been shaped by business and the humanities alike, Ivy and Industry is a vital contribution to debates about the corporatization of higher education in the United States. Christopher Newfield traces major trends in the intellectual and institutional history of the research university from 1880 to 1980. He pays particular attention to the connections between the changing forms and demands of American business and the cultivation of a university-trained middle class. He contends that by imbuing its staff and students with seemingly opposed ideas--of self-development on the one hand and of an economic system existing prior to and inviolate of their own activity on the other--the university has created a deeply conflicted middle class.

Newfield views management as neither inherently good nor bad, but rather as a challenge to and tool for negotiating modern life. In Ivy and Industry he integrates business and managerial philosophies from Taylorism through Tom Peters's "culture of excellence" with the speeches and writings of leading university administrators and federal and state education and science policies. He discusses the financial dependence on industry and government that was established in the university's early years and the equal influence of liberal arts traditions on faculty and administrators. He describes the arrival of a managerial ethos on campus well before World War II, showing how managerial strategies shaped even fields seemingly isolated from commerce, like literary studies. Demonstrating that business and the humanities have each had a far stronger impact on higher education in the United States than is commonly thought, Ivy and Industry is the dramatic story of how universities have approached their dual mission of expanding the mind of the individual while stimulating economic growth.

Author Notes

Christopher Newfield is professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Emerson Effect: Individualism and Submission in America and coeditor of Mapping Multiculturalism and After Political Correctness: The Humanities and Society in the 1990s.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Capitalism has always been one of America's signature attributes; its principles, rules and rhetoric are an essential part of the country's most vital institutions, including academia. Newfield's dense history shows that, beginning in the late 19th century with the rise of the university as an autonomous institution, the languages of the market and of the university have overlapped-to varying degrees of success and damage. That a force as powerful as America's market economy should have influenced the structure of the research university seems as inevitable as it is obvious; and so, though Newfield's accounting of this process is detailed and well researched, it is hardly groundbreaking. Newfield lays a foundation for exploring the technical relationship between research universities and the corporate entities whose financial support, governing models and culture have influenced them, but soon focuses in on his real target: the professional middle class. Research universities have served the needs of commerce by producing an educated managerial class, but as Newfield notes, "humanism and management are tied together in conflict." A professor of English by trade, Newfield offers a concise and thoughtful consideration of literary criticism's radical response to the industrial world, insightfully concluding that the liberal arts and business culture are also inextricably linked. The university, like the industry to which it is faithfully wed, has played a vital role in shaping this nation, and Newfield, by dissecting that relationship, has made a valuable contribution to the understanding of our culture. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

In this carefully researched study about the commercialization of the American university, Newfield (Mapping Multiculturalism) examines the rise of managerial culture in the university as well as the university's impact on modern society and the relationship among its science, humanities, and social science sectors. Maintaining that the 20th-century humanist is first and foremost an organization person, Newfield examines how institutional and social forces affect individual experience and demonstrates that humanistic tendencies contain both managerial and antimanagerial elements. His key argument is that corporate America and academic America have had a complicated but mutually influential relationship since the 19th century and that their powerful impact on each other is rarely acknowledged. This provocative argument certainly gives educators and researchers much to ponder. Public libraries holding Sheila Slaughter and Larry L. Leslie's Academic Capitalism, Industrializing Knowledge, edited by Lewis M. Branscomb and others, or Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class would do well to include this timely and clear discussion about a debatable topic.-Leroy Hommerding, Fort Myers Beach P.L. Dist., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Newfield (English, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) puts business and the humanities at the center of the research university's history, arguing that the university, in its attempts to expand the individual's mind and stimulate economic growth, has done more than any other institution to create the "professional middle class." However, these twin goals have created a deeply conflicted middle class, at war with itself over its own response to the market. Business's influence on research universities has always been great, but has come less through money and governing boards than through its problematic culture of "managerial humanism." Newfield's sources are impressive in scope--ranging from university presidents to scientists like Vannevar Bush and Richard Feynman, thinkers like Irving Babbitt and William James, literary critics like John Crowe Ransom and Lionel Trilling, and business writers like Tom Peters. Ironically, business practitioners themselves have only a fleeting presence. To its detriment, this history's focus is much more on ideas than on institutions; the author has a lot of axes to grind, and his conclusions about how the system worked and especially how the rank-and-file "professional middle class" thought, felt, and acted are essentially assertions. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Comprehensive graduate and research collections. R. M. Whaples Wake Forest University

Table of Contents

Part I The Two Missions
1 Introduction
2 A Permanent Dependence
3 The Humanist Outcry
Part II The Managerial Condition
4 The Rise of University Management
5 Babbitry and Meritocracy
6 Managerial Protection and Scientific Success
7 Grey Flannel Radicals
Part III The Market Revival
8 The Industry-Science Alliance
9 Corporate Pleasure and Business Humanism
10 Epilogue: The Second Story