The People of This Generation
Publication Date: 2003-04-29
See the chapter on the Quaker Colleges, pp. 34-72. "The People of This Generation" is the first comprehensive case study of the history of the New Left in a Northeast urban environment. Paul Lyons examines how campus and community activists interacted with the urban political environment, especially the pacifist Quaker tradition and the rising ethnic populism of police chief and later mayor Frank Rizzo. Moving away from the memoirs and overviews that have dominated histories of the period, Lyons uses this detailed metropolitan study as a prism for revealing the New Lefts successes and failures and for gauging how the energy generated by local activism cultivated the allegiance of countless citizens. Lyons explores why groups dominated by the Old Left had limited success in offering inspiration to a new generation driven by the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War. The number and diversity of colleges in this unique metropolitan area allow for rich comparisons of distinctly different campus cultures, and Lyons shows how both student demographics and institutional philosophies determined the pace and trajectory of radicalization.