Shaun Illingworth: This begins an interview with Professor Lloyd Gardner on March 27, 2008, in Van Dyke Hall in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on the Rutgers College Avenue Campus. Conducting the interview today are ...
Sandra Stewart Holyoak: ... Sandra Stewart Holyoak ...
Eric Knecht: ... Eric Knecht ...
Rabeya Rahman: ... Rabeya Rahman ...
Paul Clemens: ... Paul Clemens ...
SI: ... and Shaun Illingworth. Professor Gardner, thank you very much for joining us here today. Also, thank you to the History Department and Professor Clemens for setting this interview up and for all their work.
SH: Just for the record, where and when were you born?
Lloyd Gardner: Delaware, Ohio, November 9, 1934.
SH: To start, please tell us briefly about your father and a little bit of his family history, and then, about your mother, if you would, just for the record.
LG: Just for the record. [laughter] Well, my father had an unusual occupation. He was a beekeeper, a commercial beekeeper, and he actually formed up one of the largest honey producing companies in the country, the Ohio Apiaries Cooperative Association. ... There were two others at the time, Sioux, based in Iowa, and Finger Lakes, based in New York. So, in a sense, he spanned agriculture and industry. ... He'd only gotten to about the third or fourth grade, came into town when he was a little boy and they told him he couldn't go into the sixth grade, because he hadn't had art. So, he dropped out of school [laughter] and, back then, that was not such a big deal. So, he was very much a self-made man. ... I suppose, from a very early time, I had an education into the cruelty of the marketplace and what it could do, although he was a rock-ribbed Republican all his life. My mother was a Democrat all her life, and so, they used to watch one another like hawks on Election Day, to make sure that they both voted and cancelled each other's votes out. My father used to insist that my mother listen to him read, from the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, such luminaries as Fulton Lewis, Jr., and other right-wing columnists, and she would sit and nod, gravely, and go out and vote the other way, but she was also a big partisan of Senator McCarthy's, Senator Joseph McCarthy's, which was not unusual, I think. There were a lot of Democrats who sort of were pro-McCarthy at that time, and she used to say, "I don't care what your professors say down at the college. You know, I know that our Senator Joe is doing good work," and so, that was one of the few times I had sympathy for my father, in terms of his discussions with my mother, [laughter] in that she was an immovable object on certain questions. So was he. They were both immovable objects. ... So, I was born in Delaware, Ohio, went to all my schooling there, up through and including Ohio Wesleyan University, where I graduated in 1956.
SH: Majoring in history?
LG: History and English, double major. I'd started out to become a lawyer when I went to school. My father had given up on the idea that I was going to be a doctor when I threw up watching an operation on a dog at the veterinarian's. [laughter] ... He said, "Well, okay, lawyers make money," and then, when I told him I was leaving that idea for becoming a college professor, he said, "Well, there are a few professors at Ohio State that make ten thousand dollars," which was a mark at that time, a big mark. ... But, he wasn't terribly happy about that, I don't think. ... My mother, she didn't care. She just wanted me to be happy, and I probably was steered into history by pneumonia, because I had pneumonia in the first and second grade and my mother read to me talesof King Arthur, the expurgated version, of course, talesofKingArthurand of medieval history. At the end of class work in grade school there, we didn't have grade school libraries then, there was just a stack of books in the back of the room; if you finished your homework or your work, you could go look, pick up one of those books, and I went back and, invariably, picked up medieval history books. Of course, when I got to high school, most history was taught by coaches, and we had one coach, in particular, whose name was Spike Gallagher. Spike said he was going to try an innovative way of teaching history. He would begin at the present and work his way back. The reason for that is, he didn't know anything, [laughter] and so, he would keep one chapter ahead of us by beginning at the present, in-between coaching basketball. ... His wife, Daisy May, was having an affair with the local doctor, so, whether Spike showed up on a given day was always an interesting question, but that was high school. ... Then, I went to Ohio Wesleyan, majored in history, and that was the second big change in my life, because they had brought back to teach a course in constitutional history, for all of us pre-law students, a man by the name of Henry Clyde Hubbart, who was one of the few Ohio Wesleyan professors who ever published a book. ... It was The Older Middle West, 1840-1880.
PC: I don't know it.
LG: Don't know it? Well, some people's education's sadly underdone; [laughter] a very, very good book, actually. ... I asked to go into the course, even though I was a sophomore. It was supposed to be only for seniors, a finishing course, and I couldn't get in. I couldn't make a pre-registration for it, because of that, and a teacher I'd had the first year, who had an influence on me, David Jennings, said he would talk to Hubbart, because he wanted to make sure I got into this course. So, I got into the course. The first bluebook, what we used to call "bluebook," what you would call "midterms," the first bluebook came along and Dr. Hubbart gave back everybody's bluebook except mine. ... I thought, "Oh, dear, I shouldn't be in here. I'm really too stupid to be in here," and so on, and he came up to me in the classroom and said, "Mr. Gardner, please come see me in my office later today." So, I did, and it was one of those classic scenes in college dramas, fall afternoon, sunlight coming through the window and picking up little specks of dust in the air, and he said, "Mr. Gardner, what are you going to do?" I said, "I'm going to be a lawyer." "No," he said, "enough good lawyers. You need to be a historian." So, I thought back to the fact that I always liked history, back in grade school and all the rest, and, suddenly, you know, it was like an epiphany that afternoon. ... I came out of there with sort of the glow of the speckled sunlight around me and went out on a date with my girlfriend, at that time, that evening and I said, "Gee, Carol, I'm thinking about switching from law to history graduate school." That was the end of that. Thank God it was the end of that, because it wouldn't have worked out anyway. So, that was that and I then majored in history and English, because I couldn't give up my English background, and applied for a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for graduate school. On top of my list was Columbia. That was the first place I wanted to go, because of Henry Steele Commager. I had become enamored of Henry Steele Commager and he was also on television at that time, a Sunday afternoon program called Omnibus, very often, and I just thought he was wonderful. ... This coincided with what my professors told me, that I should apply for Columbia first, Yale second and Wisconsin third, and the reason Wisconsin was third was because of Merle Curti, who was similar to Henry Steele Commager, an American intellectual historian. Why Yale? I don't know, but, at any rate, I was planning on American intellectual history at that time, although I did my senior thesis on Woodrow Wilson's policy toward Mexico, in which I was quite critical of Wilson, from a realist point of view, that he was pressing morality and moralism in foreign policy. So, I got a call at home and the call was, "This is the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and we will give you a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship if you'll go to Wisconsin," and there was just no question then, that that's where I was going to go, because Columbia wasn't offering anything, at that moment. They might have later, or Yale might have later, I don't know, but I was happy to accept Wisconsin, because my professors told me there were a lot of very major figures at Wisconsin, including Merle Curti, Howard K. Beale, Merrill Jensen. They didn't mention Fred Harvey Harrington, who was the diplomatic historian there, but who was well-known at Wisconsin, moving up in the administrative ranks. A lot of diplomatic historians go into administration, for one reason or another, perhaps because they've studied diplomacy. I don't know. At any rate, by this time, of course, I had a new girlfriend that I very much loved and we were married at the end of my senior year in college, Nancy, and, being a minister's daughter, she didn't have to think too much about economic deprivation. She'd already had it, and so, she was more open to that idea, living off the edge. So, off we went to Wisconsin. Fred Harrington; I almost switched back into intellectual history, I decided to go into diplomatic, almost switched back to being an intellectual historian, because it was very hard to see Fred Harrington. He was so much involved in university work. He became president of the university, but he also was very good. In the brief time you could get in to him, to see him, he was very good. For example, my first year in graduate school, he said, "You know, this is the toughest time for any academic, first year in graduate school. You're trying to figure out what your professors think of you, you're trying to think about what your fellow graduate students think of you and you're trying to figure out what you think of yourself," and I thought about that and that was certainly true, that you were trying to find out where you thought you fit into this group of very clever people who had suddenly turned up in graduate school. I learned another lesson that first year in graduate school, and that was that everybody talks as if they've read every book, you know, "This is what Marx would say about this." "Wow," you know; "What about the Turner thesis?" Well, I never even knew who the hell [Frederick Jackson] Turner was when I went to graduate school. [To Dr. Clemens] I'm sure we correct that now, although I'm never sure, and, in fact, the first week at graduate school, I went home and told Nancy, I said, "I think we're out of here. I just don't know as much as these people." Then, I learned, very quickly, it's all a façade and most people hadn't read most books and they just passed it off as if they [had]. You know, everybody's an expert on Freud, right? "Oh, he has an inferiority complex," you know, what the hell does he know about it? People, you know, could become glib very quickly, just like Hillary Clinton talking about Bosnia. She's very good. Bill, at least, had vocalized pauses. Hillary doesn't even have a vocalized pause. She can lie without blinking an eye. [Editor's Note: Ten days earlier, Senator Hillary Clinton, while campaigning against Senator Barrack Obama for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, had made a much publicized faux pas. She described "landing under sniper fire" in Bosnia during a 1996 visit as First Lady, but video evidence revealed this to be false.] So, at any rate, that's the way, at graduate school, you learn how to function in that environment, but, then, you also learn that there's some really, really, good people there, and some of the really, really, good people were my colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, particularly Walt LaFeber and Tom McCormick, who remain very, very, dear friends to this day and who were two of the smartest people I ever met. You don't get away with anything with them. At any rate, the second year at Wisconsin, Harrington had gone completely into administration and he brought [in], to teach his courses, William Appleman Williams, who is perhaps the seminal figure in the history of American foreign relations from that time to the present. ... In fact, I will be running a conference next spring on the fiftieth anniversary of Williams' Tragedy of American Diplomacy, here at the University. ... Williams came like a huge shock, huge, tremendous shock, to the University of Wisconsin. ... Hubbart, Dave Jennings at Ohio Wesleyan, Fred Harrington, Merle Curti, William Appleman Williams, those were the major influences on my academic career. After I left Wisconsin in 1959, I had everything done from between '56 and '59 except the final draft of my dissertation, I taught at Lake Forest College for one year. If any of you've seen the movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, that was the atmosphere of Lake Forest College, and I was desperate, desperate, not to go back to that situation. Fortunately, there was a man here at Rutgers by the name of Warren Susman, who had met me, through William Appleman Williams, at Wisconsin, and we got on famously. ... At that time, the diplomatic historian here, a man, very worthwhile man, by the name of [Lewis] Ethan Ellis, took early retirement, in one of those things that come along, and that coincided with my getting out of the Air Force. The "Big Three" in the History Department at that time here were Richard P. McCormick, Henry Winkler and Peter Charanis. Now, it would be too much to say that they were the only people who counted, but it would be impossible to do anything without the three of them. You couldn't do anything without the three of them. Peter Charanis had a wonderful Bela Lugosi accent at my interview, and I thought, "Oh, I'll get along with this man fine. I've seen enough old horror movies to know how to do the Dracula accent. I can do that." [laughter] Henry Winkler, the very serious, but cheerful European historian, and Richard P. McCormick, the doyen of the History Department here at the time, ... those three were in at my interview in Chicago, I think it was; I know it was. I came back ... from that interview, I was in the Air Force at the time, in San Antonio, Texas, came back feeling pretty good about the interview and Warren Susman, who, being an assistant professor at that time, could not, for some reason, or he chose not to sit in on the interview, which was probably a good thing, but he told me afterwards it had gone well. ... I received an offer from ... Rutgers University and that's where I've been ever since, coming here in 1963.
SH: To back up a little bit, you went to the Air Force while you were still in grad school or after?
LG: No. I was at Wisconsin '56-'59, Lake Forest '59-'60, Air Force '60-'63.
SH: You came to Rutgers in the fall of 1963.
LG: Fall of '63.
SH: You were stationed only in San Antonio.
LG: I was stationed in Florida before that.
SH: What were you doing?
LG: [laughter] Well, what do you do with a historian in the Air Force?
SH: Especially one with a graduate degree.
LG: Especially one with a graduate degree. Well, they put me in public relations. So, a lot of my time was spent answering letters addressed to "Dear Missile Man USA," because I was at the Air Force Missile ... Test Center, Patrick Air Force Base, on what was then Cape Canaveral, then became Cape Kennedy, after Kennedy's assassination. It may have reverted back to Cape Canaveral, I'm not sure if it has?
PC: Yes, I think it has.
LG: And so, I would take tours of people out to the test site there and write up press releases, and so on. As a matter-of-fact, while I was there, I received an offer from the University of Iowa, which I would have loved to have gone to, Big Ten. I was from a Big Ten area, remember. I'd love to go to Iowa. So, the University of Iowa tried to get me out of the Air Force. There is a regulation, or a statement in regulations, in the military that says, if you can be better used in civilian life than in the military, you can get an early discharge. So, they appealed to the military on those grounds, and so, what the military did was to shift me then. Instead of responding to that, they shifted me to Officer Candidate School in San Antonio, where I taught a high school level-plus course in international relations. In the meantime, they had investigated me thoroughly for my activities in graduate school, as I was a founder of a graduate student magazine called Studies On the Left, and that was sort of an interesting episode. Hauled me in, in front of some people, just like you, except there weren't any lights on, except one light coming down.
SH: A real interrogation.
LG: "Now, Lieutenant Gardner, what about these associations?" "What about these associations?" Interestingly enough, the woman who was taking notes, taking shorthand notes, had been in the hospital with my wife, in the base hospital. So, while they were calling me "Lieutenant Gardner," she kept referring to me as "Doctor Gardner," and that upset them, you know. It wasn't neat; "He's Lieutenant Gardner, not Doctor Gardner." So, that upset them a little bit, but, after that, they sent me to teach Officer Candidate School. So, I guess they decided I wasn't too much of a threat, or that I couldn't do very much damage as a teacher, which was the usual attitude in this society, right? So, I wound up here, fall of '63.
PC: Did you know anything about Rutgers when you came here? Was it a school you had ever heard of before?
LG: Yes. Ohio Wesleyan had played Rutgers once in football, or twice, but like many, many another person, I believed Rutgers was some sort of Ivy League institution, although Warren had advised me. ... In fact, Fred Harrington, who was a candidate for the presidency here, when [Edward J.] Bloustein, [seventeenth President of Rutgers University, 1971-1989], got it, knew a lot about Rutgers, and I remember Harrington saying to me, at that convention; it's interesting you bring it up. At that convention, Harrington and Susman were talking, '62, Chicago, and Harrington, who was always looking around at various universities, Harrington said to Warren, "There's a place that's not nearly as good as it should be, ... or as it can be," and I'll always regard it as a great tragedy that he lost out to Bloustein. ... I heard later that one of the reasons he lost out, and you might want to check this out, Fred Harrington as candidate for this presidency, that one of the reasons he lost out was, he was taken over to the president's home and said, "This is the president's home of a major university? ... If I came, ... a lot of changes would have to be made," and that somehow scared the Board of Governors, you know, and it's still not up to snuff for a major university president's home, just as our alumni faculty center is a disgrace, although I understand there are plans for something along those lines, new plans. At any rate, ... overhearing that conversation at the convention was about the extent of what I knew about Rutgers.
SH: Had you always been a spectator or did you play sports?
LG: Well, in high school, I played intramural sports and so on, but I was never ...
SH: I just know that you are a sports fan.
LG: Yes, yes, I love it, ... but that's the extent of that, yes.
PC: Well, Lloyd, you were actually something of an athlete, because I remember playing football with you against the same Bill Jamus that you mentioned today, [prior to the interview], yes, yes.
LG: Not me. [laughter]
PC: Yes, it was you, Lloyd.
SH: I assume that you were on opposite teams.
PC: No, Lloyd and I; it was faculty against the undergraduates, and a group of the undergraduates took on Lloyd ...
LG: (Jamus?) was a dirty player, as I remember. [laughter]
PC: Jim Reed, myself ...
LG: There's another dirty player. [laughter]
PC: Yes. Jim Reed was actually, I think, a college football player. He may have only been a high school [player]. He was a pretty tough, he still is, a pretty tough little guy.
LG: He's talking about touch football, of course. [laughter]
PC: Yes, right.
SI: I have a quick question about your time in the Air Force. Were you in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis?
LG: No, I was in Texas.
SI: What was the reaction on base during that period?
LG: The Cuban Missile Crisis? Well, this was Officer Candidate School and there were about twenty-five, well, maybe more than that, twenty-five faculty, and the commander of the Officer Candidate School called us in and told us, you know, that this was a pretty serious situation. ... I went home that night feeling not too glum, because, if you remember, this was sort of interesting, we were all sitting in the faculty lounge there, that afternoon, when [US Ambassador to the United Nations] Adlai Stevenson challenged the Russian ambassador, you know, "Tell us, tell us," and these guys, all of them were pilots. I was not a pilot. I had been scheduled to be a navigator, but you had to sign up for five; they kept changing the length of time and you had to sign up for five years if you're going to be a navigator and I did not want to stay in the Air Force for five years. Thank God I didn't become a navigator. Anyone who's ridden with me knows, in a car, that I get lost very easily. [laughter] So, we're sitting there and all these guys, you know, who flew these things that would be flying in case of problems, "Atta way, Adlai. Give it to him, give it to him." I'm sitting there saying, "Don't you gentlemen realize we could all be dead, you know, blown up?" "No, no, we've got more atomic bombs than they got." It was a very simple equation, and, of course, it was true. That wasn't the only reason, obviously. I went home, and then, watched Kennedy's broadcast about how he was imposing the blockade, and so on, went to bed that night. ... As fate would have it, the San Antonio Civil Defense siren went off by mistake that night and I woke up and I remember thinking, "Well, that's it. You know, the war has started," but, of course, it hadn't. You know, it passed fairly quickly, and then, moved into the period of semi-détente after that. [laughter] There is a funny postscript. Officer Candidate School was normally all men, six-month course. Most officer candidates were young, non-commissioned officers who had shown great promise and most of them are married, and some of them with families. ... That was the pattern at that time and, at the end of the three months, there was always a graduation. Six months, that's it. I don't know why I'm saying three months; three months as a kind of plebe, three months as finishing it, at the end of the six months, a kind of graduation ball. Now, the wives ran all that and the queen of the ball was always voted on as the wife who'd done the most to help her husband through. That's the way they decided on it, ... but one class a year had entering women officer candidates, which caused some problem, because these guys had to live in the Officer Candidate School barracks for six months, away from their families, away from their wives. So, there's a natural feeling of anxiety here. So, the WAF, [Women's Air Force], one year, decided that they were going to run a candidate for queen. This was a crisis. Now, the commander of Officer Candidate School, at that time, was an old P-38 pilot. ... This guy had been a World War II, P-38 pilot, was never going to get past colonel and was within a year or two of retirement, so, they stuck him down at Officer Candidate School, his last command. ... Just like Queeg in the movie Caine Mutiny, he carried around his cigarette lighter that he'd flip open and close, constantly, click-click. ... One afternoon, a sergeant came into my classroom and said, "Lieutenant Gardner, Commander's having a meeting of all staff at four PM." I thought, "Oh, God, another crisis. I'll never get out." You know, it's like the stop-loss thing, because they had the power to do that then, extend you. "I'll never get out of the Air Force," and so, we all trooped in and we're sitting around the table, wondering what in the world was causing this crisis. In came the sergeant, "Ten-hut," and we all jumped up and in came the Commander. He sat down and started flipping this cigarette lighter open and closed. "Gentlemen," he said, click-click, click-click, "I've made a command decision: the WAF will be permitted to run a candidate for the ball and I want you all to support this with your wives at home," because the officers' wives participated with the candidates' wives in their organizations. I breathed a deep sigh of relief, went home and Nancy and I laughed ourselves silly for a couple of hours, but the peacetime military could be that way sometimes. [laughter] See what your question evoked?
SH: When you came to Rutgers, in the fall of 1963 ...
SH: What was your first reaction? We just talked about how really little you knew of the institution.
LG: Well, it was a relief to be away from Lake Forest College and I felt like it at least had aspirations to [be] something like Wisconsin. Wisconsin, at that time, was my model for all other schools. We hated Harvard, so that Rutgers' hate of Princeton was very familiar to me and very comforting to me. At that time, you'd go to the Rutgers-Princeton football game and look at all the Princeton graduates, with their khakis and white bucks and blue blazers, and that stupid band they had, which was a kind of double arrogance, in the sense of showing, "We don't care for big-time college bands," and so on, "We're so far beyond that," you know. It wasn't [F.] Scott Fitzgerald kind of arrogance; it was something uglier, much uglier, than that. ... You know, the kind of thing, "Well, you might beat us on the football field, but we'll be your boss later on in life," kind of attitude, and so, that fit right in with my whole [point of view], even though I went to a private school, Ohio Wesleyan, and would not have gone to Ohio State. Even though I love Ohio State, I would not have gone to Ohio State. Wisconsin was my idea of the perfect kind of university and I wanted Rutgers to be as much like that as possible.
SH: Other than your coursework, did you get involved with faculty, with administration, with sports? When someone comes in as a brand-new professor to Rutgers ...
LG: Well, it wasn't a lot. [As a] brand-new professor, you served on committees, that sort of thing, but, until you learned your way around, you know, there wasn't a whole lot. I remember, I used to play chess, late in the afternoon, with [Eugene D.] Gene Genovese, up on the third floor of Bishop House, because we didn't have a lot of extra issues to contend with. ... Gene would pull out a bottle of sherry, we'd sit there and play chess. Gene was a different sort of Leftist than I was used to from Wisconsin. Gene was [the] genuine New York article, where I suppose [the] Wisconsin Left was always tinged with La Follette Progressivism, ... but we were congenial. He didn't think very much of my mentor. He did, in one way, but he thought William Appleman Williams was just a Populist and not a very good Marxist, even though Williams had written some theoretical works, but Gene and I would sit there and play chess. ... I remember, one time, I came into his office and he was sweating, just really sweating, and I said, "What was the problem?" because it wasn't that warm. ... He said the FBI had just been there, and they were rough shadowing Gene. Gene, you have to understand, Gene had been kicked out of the American Communist Party for being too Left. He was pro-Chinese, ... at that time. Now, of course, he's moved completely over to the Right and goes to Mass every day, but, at that time, he was considered a wild man, but he wasn't in [his] personal behavior. We'd play chess. So, as I say, there wasn't [much at first]. You got into that kind of thing gradually. I suppose my first experience with this was just ... sort of realizing where the power was in the History Department. ... Susman, my friend, who had helped to get me here in the first place, was kind of my mentor about what went on in the History Department, although I later learned that his viewpoint was a bit skewed, too. I mean, he, Susman, had a lot of personal problems. So, that was my introduction to it.
SH: The History Department was in Bishop House.
LG: Bishop House, sixteen people, and, occasionally, we would see people from University College or Douglass. ... We had this thing called the section, at that time, and the section involved New Brunswick, University College, Newark and Camden, and, of course, then, Douglass, and we had these section meetings once a year. The reason the section was created was to prevent the outlying campuses from promoting inferior people. It was just that blatant. ... So, they had this section meeting to sort of soften the idea. There was a dinner at the section meeting and speeches were given, but the real tough time came when voting on promotions and so on.
SH: When you came to Rutgers, Bloustein was already ...
LG: No, no, Mason Gross, [sixteenth President of Rutgers University, 1959-1971]. Mason Gross and Dick Schlatter ran the University from the Faculty-Alumni Center, [the Rutgers Club at 199 College Avenue], over two martinis at lunch.
PC: And Schlatter was the provost, or what was he?
LG: Yes, provost.
PC: Who was also a historian.
SH: He was part of the sixteen.
LG: Well, no. ... He never attended a department meeting, although he was at department social affairs, very often.
SH: What was your reaction to Mason Gross? What was your opinion of him?
LG: Well, I remembered him from television. He was on some program about dictionaries on television or something. [Editor's Note: Mason Gross appeared on two TV game shows in the late 1940s and 1950s, Think Fast and Two For the Money.] He was a word expert and he would give the definition. Mason Gross, I always thought that, you know, ... he was a much more complicated figure than I understood. I always thought of him as sort of the "poor man's Ivy League president," that that was the impression he wanted to give, but, in fact, he wasn't. In fact, he was dedicated to Rutgers. ... I remember one speech he gave, at a faculty meeting, in which he said that there was no reason for us to feel inferior to the school thirty miles down the road. Now, what else he said that day, I don't know, but I remember that line, stuck out in my mind. I had never had any dealings with him, none. I would see him from a distance, and I had very few with Schlatter.
PC: My memory, he was before my time, when I got here, was that, people would tell me, his administration as president had ended far less successfully than it had begun. Did you have a sense that, in some ways, things had gone downhill in the time you knew him?
PC: No, okay.
SH: For the record, Professor Clemens, when did you come to Rutgers?
PC: '74, about a decade after Lloyd.
SI: In the 1950s, Rutgers had gotten a lot of criticism because of President [Lewis Webster] Jones, [fifteenth President of Rutgers University, 1951-1958] letting two professors with Communist affiliations go. Was there any of that tinge left?
LG: Yes, there was a little bit. We had to sign a non-Communist affidavit to get a job, but I think that was for all state employees. I'm not sure.
LG: Was that still around when you ...
PC: In '74, I signed the same. It was a state document. I had to sign something similar.
LG: It wasn't a university [document].
PC: It was some sort of loyalty oath. I think it was state, yes.
SH: Genovese would have signed the same type of document.
LG: Yes, he did.
SI: What was your opinion of that? Did you feel like the university would not back you up, in terms of academic freedom? Did you have any opinion on that?
LG: No. I know I never worried about it.
PC: Before you got here, some of the people here had to go to testify. I think Schlatter had to go to testify in HUAC, [House Un-American Activities Committee].
LG: Yes, he did, and there was some criticism of Schlatter because he did testify. He did name names.
PC: Yes. He'd been a Communist Party member. He was definitely not by the time I got here.
LG: And, as I remember, Sidney Ratner may not have been a member, but he was pretty close, and, now, of course, both, like Ratner, and then, a later hire, Herb Rowen, a lot of ex-Communists moved completely over to the Right, and those two did. I remember, I almost had an altercation with Sidney Ratner during the Vietnam War. It was at Traian Stoianovich's house and Ratner and I almost went at one another and some people separated us, sort of silly. I don't know what would have happened. We would have just sort of shoved.
PC: Hockey players. [laughter]
SH: How much oversight did the administration exert over the History Department?
LG: I don't remember any in particular, although Genovese said, ... at the time of the teach-in in 1965, he said that he had deliberately chosen the period of slavery and the Civil War to keep away from current issues. He said that in his teach-in address. He said, "I do not regard this as in any way an enlarged classroom and that, while I have these beliefs, I have deliberately chosen to teach in this field to keep them out of that," ... but I never felt any pressure, until after the teach-in. Then, students, some students, started bringing those things [voice recorders] into class and I always said, "Move them up closer, so [that] you'll be able to get every word." I just treated it as a big joke at that time. The only scary time, during the Vietnam War, really scary time, was in 1970, ... when the campus shut down. We had the student action committees and so on, which I co-chaired, and my family got a telephone call at home. ... The person on the phone said, "This Professor Gardner's house? We know about your daughters and we're going to take care of them." So, from that point until the end of the school year, they were escorted to and from school. I always found it amazing that there weren't more killings, given the mood and the division of the country.
SH: Who escorted your daughters, you and your wife?
LG: Well, either me or my wife, and we instructed the school authorities not to let them out of school without one of the two of us being there.
SH: You did not ask for any help from the police department.
SH: Can we go chronologically, if possible? Again, we are going back to 1963. So much hinges on Vietnam and the activism at that point. How does it build here at Rutgers?
LG: Well, Rutgers was about the third teach-in. Michigan was first, Wisconsin or someplace else might have been second and Rutgers was third.
SH: Had you been in contact with the people at Wisconsin during this time?
LG: Just Williams. Curti had retired, Beale had died, Harrington was administration, so, most of the people I knew, except Williams, were no longer really active at Wisconsin. Wisconsin had grown quite bigger, too, at the same time, so, [there were] a lot of new people. No, we just read about the teach-ins and we knew they were happening. We knew Michigan was first, and then, a bunch of us got together, and I couldn't name you all the names, Seymour (Senchelski?), from the peace group, and some other people in the sciences. No one from Engineering, of course, given that engineers are big patriots, and people in, maybe, political; well, not very many in political science, either. They tend to be much more hard-line. It was really a History Department operation, for the most part, Susman, Genovese, Carter Jefferson, another newcomer, like myself, Arnold Paul. Maybe ...
PC: [Samuel L.] Sam Baily?
PC: Was he here? Yes, I think he was.
LG: No. Well, that's pretty much it. There are a couple I'm probably missing.
SH: Not quite half of the History Department.
LG: Well, it had gotten larger by then, by a couple or three members, so, it was up a little bit. As Sam liked to say, Sam Baily, he liked to say he was the first "exotic" historian hired by the History Department, in Latin American history, you know. He always regarded it as this, you know, very stodgy [department], although I did as much as I possibly could, being a foreign policy scholar, to bring in people like Sam, Michael Adas, Chinese historians, etc., etc., ... Japanese historians, to spread out the offerings. So, I sort of dedicated myself to that and had some success in breaking down the traditional notion that history is European or American.
SH: When did you get Sam Baily onboard?
LG: I didn't get Sam Baily onboard, but I was part of it. I mean, the decision was made to hire a Latin American historian and I had just received tenure, so that I was involved in the interviews and so on, but I was much more key in terms of Michael Adas, in terms of [Donald] Don Roden, in terms of a woman in Chinese medieval history, Marian Carlson, I think her name was.
PC: Before me.
LG: She left after a few years, and people like that.
SH: How soon were you tenured?
LG: Right away. I got an offer from the University of Pittsburgh my first year here. Samuel P. Hays at the University of Pittsburgh, chaired the Department of History and he invited me out to Pittsburgh. At that time, I didn't fly. I was scared of flying, [laughter] from the Air Force. That's not quite true, but I didn't; I took the train out to Pittsburgh. I vowed that'd be the last time I ever took the train anywhere or [for] any length, took the train out and found my way to the hotel. The next day, Hays picked me up, took me to the History Department. I was in session with them. Someone said to Sam, "Where are you going to take him to dinner?" and he said, "Well, I think I'll take him home." He hadn't told his wife. [laughter] "I think I'll take him home," and, you have to understand, Sam is a Quaker, Sam (Hays?), and you have to understand that his wife cooked like a Quaker. There's a small piece of ham, made even smaller by the fact that we had to share [with] one more person at the table, a few peas, a scoop of mashed potatoes. ... So, after this repast, we adjourned to his study and, about eight-thirty, Sam says, "Oh, you must be getting tired." That's when I wake up. [laughter] So, Sam drove me back to the hotel, and I knew then that I would never come to the University of Pittsburgh.
SH: However, it was okay for leverage.
LG: So, I wasn't planning on going anyway, I was using it to get tenure. That was the way the game was played, and my book, my first book, had just come out.
SH: And the book was?
LG: Economic Aspects of New Deal Diplomacy [(University of Wisconsin Press, 1964)]. Boy, there's an exciting title. The original thesis title had been "American Foreign Policy in a Closed World," but, because I was afraid of being criticized [for] writing just simply an economic book and calling it something else, I changed the title to say, "This is an economic book," you know, and you can [find it]. Some rare copies of it are around, at forty dollars a shot.
PC: Some of us have one.
LG: You have one of those?
PC: I have a rare copy of it, yes.
LG: Well, even rarer is the paperback edition, brought out by Beacon [in 1971]. I'll bet you don't have that, yes. [laughter]
PC: No. I do remember, Lloyd, when I came here, you told me not to read it. You said, "Read my other stuff." [laughter]
LG: Well, you know, it's held up pretty well, actually, when I went back and read it. You have to understand, it's pretty sketchy, in terms of the research material that was available and so on, but I can't stand to read my books when they've first come back from the publisher. I can't stand to read them. I always think, "Oh, God, how could you write that crap?" Six months later, they begin to look a little better and, a year later, they look a lot better. So, you know, it's a [process].
SH: Forty years later, it was not bad.
LG: I don't know. It's some sort of process of self-criticism that is imbued in the WASP culture, I think, that you just [feel that way], you know, because I don't consider myself a Puritan, but none of us, in America, really, completely ever get the Puritan germ out of us, somehow. So, yes, the teach-in was a very important moment in the history of the University, I think, but the 1960s also saw what I would call "old-style community" break down. The faculty dinner party and the faculty social event begins to fragment, for three or four reasons: one, the increasing size of the department; two, the Vietnam War, ... in which people were just not speaking to one another; three, the women's movement, in which wives are saying, "I'm not going to cook dinner for all those guys," and I think those were the three main reasons that it broke down. So, all those wonderful movies about college life; of course, they were never really true, here anyway. You have to understand what makes Rutgers different, and one of Rutgers' great problems, in terms of [being] a state university, is its location, with faculty living from New York to Washington, DC.
SH: It was that way even then.
LG: Oh, yes, oh, yes. I mean, you're not going to get Genovese to move out to New Brunswick. Give me a break.
SH: I had to ask.
LG: "Why," you know, "New Brunswick, Highland Park? No, no way." So, there was never that kind of community at Rutgers, never. I mean, the people who tried to uphold that sort of thing, like Richard P. McCormick, were few and far between. ... He was fighting a losing battle, but it was a noble battle all the time. ... I remember him once saying to me, after one more committee report had been overturned by the department, "What's really upsetting is people who haven't paid any attention to the debates, to the discussion and so on, [who] then feel free, in a department meeting, to make all sorts of amendments, to move against something, to challenge something." ... His position was, "If you hadn't put in the time, you don't have a right to vote on an issue," and I think that's true, to a great extent, but nothing you can do about it. They still do, always will. At least when I quit going to meetings, they still were doing that, right?
PC: [laughter] Yes.
LG: It's the bane of academic life. I remember, also, one year, when I was off in England, Bill O'Neill wrote me a letter in which he said, "I've never been amongst such a group of people who love the sound of their own voice more than [in] departments meetings."
SH: They have always been contentious.
LG: Always, ... but I do believe the 1960s marked a sharp breakpoint between one attitude toward university community and another attitude toward university community, and I increasingly found my role in the University, rather than the History Department. That doesn't mean I gave up my role in the History Department. I was chair between '70 and '73 and enjoyed that, because I got done some things I wanted to get done.
SH: Like what?
LG: Well, I think I appointed some committees that looked into curriculum changes and teaching changes and so on, and I think I tried to foster a greater responsibility about teaching, between '70 and '73. There's only so much that a chair can do, in any respect, and I don't consider myself the greatest chair, by any means, but I think ... that was what I set my mind to try and do.
PC: Lloyd, let me follow up on one very specific thing. Right before I came, or some time, I came in '74, I know that one of the things that happened was Rutgers College, which is where you were, discontinued having a requirement that everybody take American history. It was part of some sort of a larger struggle about curriculum reform, which went from things you had to take to student choices. I remember because I heard about it from Warren and you when I got here, but I never went through that. Were you part of that discussion that led to the revamping?
LG: Well, Warren wrote [the report]. The Dean, Arnold [B.] Grobman, appointed him chair of a committee and assigned him, maybe not even a committee, just simply assigned him to write a report, which he did, called something like, "The Reformation of an American College," or something, in which all these things, these dreadful things, mini-courses, emerged out of his report. I mean, again, it's a case where Warren had the best ideas in mind, but, when they were transferred into practice, many of them failed. ... I know that, for example, the Western Civ requirement was gone and in its place were choices [for] requirements. It didn't mean requirements were gone. I think the greatest reform, that did the most damage, was in the graduate work, where a student's major professor wrote some of the questions. I think that's wrong and I just don't think that makes a lot of sense.
PC: To stay on the undergraduate side, you taught the large US survey.
LG: Survey, yes. I taught it with Susman, I taught it with Dick McCormick, taught it by myself.
PC: How large was it, the course, when you were teaching it?
LG: How many people will Scott Hall hold? It was full. I don't know, two hundred-and-fifty, three hundred, and, at one point, my Vietnam class was over three hundred, years ago. Oh, I loved that course, ... because I could try out all sorts of weird things. ... That was the beauty about teaching college level, was that you don't have a lesson plan in front of you. ... For example, if I wanted to talk about what nationalized America in the late nineteenth century and [wanted to] spend time talking about railroads, telegraphs, sewing machines, etc., you know, I could talk about that, and that was what was such a great thing about teaching the survey. You could let your mind roam. ... I remember, Warren Susman, the year I taught it with him, Warren got up and said, "We are going on an intellectual ride, roller-coaster ride," and we did. The students didn't know what the hell was going on, but we had a wonderful [course]. I could sit there listening to him, you know, wonderful lectures he gave in that course. He gave a lecture, "Three Trials of the 1920s." You know that lecture?
PC: I know parts of it, because I taught "Famous Trials" with him.
LG: Sacco-Vanzetti, Scopes and Loeb-Leopold, and he would always take the unpopular side. Thus, he would say, you know, "There was no reason for Sacco and Vanzetti to think they were ever going to get off," you know, [laughter] or, in Scopes, the one where all the liberals lined up on the argument, "What a bunch of yahoos down in Tennessee," Warren made the argument that, "If you're going to have local control of schools, etc., what does this say?" ... He referred to what was going on in New York at the time, with Ocean Hill-Brownsville, other questions. ... On Loeb-Leopold, he said, "What happens to personal responsibility? Clarence Darrow argued completely in favor of behavioralism." ... Of course, the students had no idea. They could understand it on one level, but they didn't understand they were getting three or four levels of stuff that had gone through Susman's mind, and so, he, in a sense, became a challenge to me, to come up with equally exciting kinds of things. ... I have to say that I think students then grasped more than students today. Students today know more, from television and so on; they understand less.
SH: Do you think that is because of their secondary education?
LG: I think it's because of television.
SI: Was Rutgers always receptive to this kind of experimenting in teaching?
LG: Oh, I don't know. I couldn't tell you about other departments.
SI: When you first came.
LG: Oh, always, always.
SH: What about the "publish or perish?" How was that implemented, or not?
LG: Well, that's a good question. Was that implemented? In theory, yes; Susman never published much, but there are always exceptions and I think all of us understood that this was a seminal mind. ... Warren always complained he wasn't treated well enough, and perhaps he wasn't, but, for example, Gene Genevose, Gene had a bunch of articles when he came, on slavery and so on. ... I was playing chess one afternoon with him and he'd just come from an appointment with Richard P. McCormick. Now, Richard P. McCormick did not care what Gene's political views were, as long as he loved Rutgers, and Gene was giving of himself, pretty much, at that time, as much as he could to any place. ... Again, Gene was upset and he said to me, "He just told me I have to put these articles in a book or I couldn't get promoted to tenure." He said, "I don't know why I should pay any attention to this man telling me the way I should publish. I'll publish, but he's trying to tell me the way I should publish." Right; Gene did put them together, came out, with Pantheon, his first book, The Political Economy of Slavery: [Studies in the Economy and the Society of the Slave South (1965)], and, overnight, Gene became a sensation. ... What McCormick had told him was, "If you publish your articles, you'll always be in somebody else's book. You can never establish yourself." I've never published an academic article in my life, just books, for much the same reason, although I had never had it succinctly put to me, the way that Dick did. So, that was part of "publish or perish," but there's some people who slid through who should never have gotten through.
SH: This was part of the section that was set up.
LG: No, no, I'm talking about New Brunswick.
SH: How did the section work, as far as promoting people? You said that was set up to stop the promotion of inferior people.
LG: We just had a promotion meeting. You got promoted in your department, then, you went to a section meeting and the promotion credentials were presented, along with the vote in your department, and the debate went on all over again and there was another vote taken.
SH: Then, that vote would then go to ...
LG: Whatever, the local college, local campus, dean and so on.
SH: You saw the University reorganized and reorganized. [laughter] When you came in 1963, Rutgers was the state university, but there was Douglass, University College, Livingston ...
LG: Came in later. I think the creation of Livingston is what triggered the reorganization, because it became a kind of crazy [organization]. It's still a kind of crazy organization. ... It's more rational now than it was then.
SH: What were your thoughts, or the History Department's thoughts, on Livingston's creation?
LG: Well, you know, Dean Ernest Lynton was a very revered figure over at Livingston, as I understand it, because some of my friends, like Don Edwards, came from the Livingston background, like Tom Hartmann, but Lynton didn't have much use for the New Brunswick History Department. We would find him at history conventions, hiring on his own, and ... I would say his hiring record in history was mixed, at best.
SH: He had no oversight as to who he hired for the Livingston faculty.
LG: We had no voice whatsoever.
SH: That was not part of ...
LG: Until, ... then, during reorganization, for a time, we had this P&L Committee, Planning and Liaison Committee, and there was a super chairman elected and the first super chairman, we brought in from the outside, because of the tensions between departments. They weren't that great, but he was an old Wisconsin-ite, whose name suddenly escapes me, the first super chair, oh, God.
SH: What year would this have been about?
PC: It wasn't (Tilden?) [TildenG. Edelstein?]?
LG: Oh, no. The guy was here, and then, he left.
PC: I wouldn't have been here; oh, Peter [N.] Stearns.
LG: No, no, before Peter.
PC: Before Peter Stearns.
LG: Peter Stearns was also hired from the outside, you're right, but the one before him was a Wisconsin professor, in recent US history. Maybe I'll think of his name. At any rate, he was the first super chair. So, then, I mean, at times, it got kind of ugly in the reformed thing, because we had very different views on many issues than the other departments, Livingston and Douglass. That was not a good time.
SH: What years would this have been in?
LG: This would have been mid-'70s.
SH: Right after you were chair then.
LG: Yes. ... Warren was chair after me, to '76. Then, Michael Adas came in and it was during Michael's administration that the change came and he was no longer chair. The main problem was that I really felt that the standards were being pulled down a little bit. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. ... That's a subjective view.
SI: Was each department left to set up their own rules regarding how they related to their counterparts at other colleges or were there general rules set up?
LG: Yes. Well, each department set up its own rules, but, then, there was a Planning and Liaison Committee, which is elected. See, the problem was, Rutgers College was so much bigger, but it was sort of like the Senate, in the sense that each college got two votes in this Planning and Liaison Committee. So, you know, the Rutgers College people could be outvoted very easily, even though we had, by far, the largest number of members and had, by far, the largest number of students to teach and, by far, the most responsibility. We could be outvoted by people who did not have as big a stake as we did and had a more particularistic stake in things, and that was very frustrating at times. I remember, we wanted to hire [someone]. ... One year, Tilden, when he was super chair, he went on leave for a semester and his temporary appointment, who's no longer living, a German historian of modest achievements, [as was] once said about Clement Atlee, "A sheep in sheep's clothing," very modest achievements, was named acting super chair. So, we had done a hell of a lot of work to hire a European intellectual historian and we had a candidate, a very good candidate, and this chair vetoed him, because he was afraid it was too close to his field. That's what I mean about, you know, once mediocrities get in charge of a place, they hire mediocrities, and we did not have the kind of long history like Wisconsin or Harvard or Yale, which, if you hire a couple of weaker people, that's not going to be a problem. ... We didn't quite get to the Duke University/(PC?) University level, but I think a lot of things slipped through.
SH: When you had this section meeting and you turned down people's applications, was that ...
LG: Well, when the people have strength enough to do this. We have some ... professors who never vote against anybody. They have this sort of Graduate School of Education notion that we are all union workers in the great struggle against the elites of the world, and some people just don't like controversy, some people simply will not. ... I've backed away from controversy a couple of times, when I should have said something.
PC: Lloyd, if we can go back, because you knew Genovese well and he was one of the most controversial figures at Rutgers in that slightly earlier period than you are talking about now, what's your take on what happened to him, why he left and how that all played out, at least internally, because you saw it from the History Department?
LG: Well, I think the History Department comes off pretty credibly in the original thing. ... Of course, in 1965, at the teach-in, Gene got up and said, "Unlike most of my colleagues here on the stage tonight, I do not fear the impending Communist victory, pending;" maybe he said Viet Cong. I don't know that he said Communist, "Viet Cong victory in Indochina. As a Marxist and a Socialist, I welcome it," and I thought at the time, "Oh, boy, here we go." ... Of course, it was right in the middle of a New Jersey gubernatorial race and [Governor Richard J.] Hughes was mad as hell. "What's this pipsqueak professor at Rutgers doing?" and former ... Vice-President Nixon came in and raised a question about, "Since the Governor is head of the state militia, how can he be considered a loyal governor if he has a disloyal trooper?" and all that crap. ... So, Hughes wanted some answers from Rutgers and the three big men that I talked about, Charanis, Winkler and McCormick, all signed a letter stating that they supported academic freedom. We got a big award, the University got a big award, for this, but, in the following year, the year I was in Washington, in fact, on a research grant, Gene put in a leave application. Schlatter called him into New York, to the Harvard Club. I don't know if anybody's ever told you this or not before. Schlatter called him into the Harvard Club in New York and here, in the grandiose part of the Harvard Club, this ex-Communist, Schlatter, and this other ex-Communist, Genovese, sat down. ... Schlatter said, "Look, we had a rough time keeping you and all this through this struggle," and so on. "Can't you put off acquiring or trying to go for a year's leave?" That's what it was; it wasn't an offer the first time. "Can't you put off your application for a year's leave for a year?" and Gene said, "If I'm going to be a second-class citizen, I don't want to be [here]. I will leave, you know, if what this means is I'll forever be a second-class citizen." There was a department meeting over this. The department rallied around, but there was lots of ugliness in the department. ... [Donald] Don Weinstein, another member of the department who is controversial in his own way, Gene was complaining about his treatment at one point and Don came into a room where Gene was complaining and said, "Gene, get down off that cross," and they almost came to [blows]. We don't have interesting things like that in the department anymore. [laughter] "Get down off that cross." So, then, the next year, Gene got an offer.
SH: Did he take the year's leave?
LG: No, he couldn't. He didn't. The next year, he got an offer from one of the California [colleges], UCLA. So, he came in and he said, "I've turned this down, but I want you to match it." Now, that was a different way of playing the game, because Gene did not want to go LA. He did not want to be stuck with the notion that, if he got turned down to match it, he would somehow be [forced to go], but what he told McCormick, who was then chair, was, "Next offer I get then, I will take, if you don't match this." Well, the University found this [out], and I don't know whether they were honest about this or not, you'd have to look at some correspondence, I suppose, they said, the University said, "Well, we don't match dead offers." ... I remember Dick McCormick, who was then chair, calling me in and saying, "Do you think, if we did something for Gene, he'd be happy?" I mean, Dick always wanted a happy camp, and I said, "Gene Genovese is never going to be happy. He is constitutionally incapable of being happy, you know. [laughter] That's not the issue. The issue is: do we want to keep him?" Well, that didn't go anywhere. So, Gene then got an offer from Sir George Williams School in Canada. That was the name of it, I think, which turned out to be some sort of YMCA college, you know, I mean, really a small, dinky place. ... He came in with this offer and Dick McCormick, again, God love him; you have to understand that Dick's world centered in Rutgers and New Jersey and he was unable to grasp a lot of this, I think. That's a little unfair to Dick. ... At any rate, what did Dick do? Instead of saying, "Well, first off, ... I'll sit down with you, Gene, and we'll see what we can do," instead, he went over to the library, over to Alexander Library, and dug out some information about Sir George Williams. He came back and he read this off to Gene. He said, "Library volumes, fifty thousand," etc., etc. "Now, you really want to go to a place like that?" Gene blew his stack. He said, "Yes, I'm going," and, after he went, I'm not sure he ever actually physically arrived there. ... He might have gone to Rochester. ... That might have intervened. I'm not sure, but I think he was, for a year or two, at Sir George. So, after that, after he'd resigned, but he still had to finish out the school year, the History Department is in Bishop House, Gene was sitting in the outer office, like as if you were sitting in that chair out there, yelling about Dick McCormick, how terrible Dick McCormick was, all the time, while Dick's sitting there. ... Dick McCormick, who's normally a very calm person, was popping mints and stomach tranquilizers just like candy. He was eating these things, and so, that was the exodus of Gene Genovese.
SH: He never confronted him. He did not go out.
LG: No. ... He could have. I mean, Gene may have been waiting for him to come out of the office, but I wasn't around that much, in that part of the building, to say whether they ever confronted one another. I think most of us were kind of fed up with Gene's antics by that point, however sympathetic we were to what had happened. I mean, after all, you know, the later Gene Genovese is a far cry from this very brave voice against the Vietnam War. The rest of us were much more guarded in what we said that morning at the teach-in.
SH: Can you talk about the teach-in? I know the students are interested.
LG: Well, it was April 1965. The bombing of North Vietnam, ROLLING THUNDER, had just began. ... [It was] late April, because I remember thinking, as I picked up Warren Susman to come to the teach-in, he was living in Bishop Towers at the time, picked him [up] to come down here, I kept thinking of Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov. ... There's a line in there about one of the brothers who had lost the power of enjoying nature and Dostoyevsky talks about the sticky little leaves in spring, very sensuous description, you know, how heavy spring can be sometimes in the air, you know, the feeling, the overwhelming feeling. ... We drove up to Scott Hall and there wasn't a sign of a person around. I thought, ... "What a flop, what an incredible, incredible flop," went in Scott Hall, packed, absolutely packed, people sitting on the stage with us, people sitting on the floor, in the aisles, people everywhere, and so, we had what I thought was a very good series of discussions. Carter Jefferson talked about the French in Indochina, almost the last important thing Carter Jefferson did here. He left when Peter Stearns came. He realized he wasn't going to have any future here and he left. Arnold Paul, who was hired along with me, who ... had so many allergies that he sort of swelled up like a balloon whenever anybody was smoking around him, and, of course, Arnold didn't come to the whole thing. They went and got him about two or three AM to bring him in to give his talk and, here, he smelled of aftershave and all this and just crisp clothes, and all the rest of us were sitting up there at that time. So, then, the Right brought in some character who was an adjunct professor at Douglass and I remember the name Pat Sullivan, or some Irish name, Irish Mafia name. I remember, he had patent black leather shoes and his shoes shone when he got up, and he accused me of making statements and not knowing what civilization was. I'd made some stupid statements about how Greek civilization was at its greatest before it became an empire. What a stupid thing; John Lenaghan, the next day, corrected me and said, "You know, you were completely wrong." [laughter] ... I said, "Right, I don't know any Greek history." ... But, he got up and accused me of this, and Susman, who hadn't had a chance to speak yet; now, anyone who knows Susman knows that you can't be around him for half an hour without him having said a lot, but, here, he'd sat here, chewing his fingernails, literally chewing his fingernails, for hours. ... When Sullivan got up and made his rant, Warren got up and said, "Define civilization," and he, well, right, you know, like this is the rostrum, came up right to the guy, smashed his fist down on the rostrum. His watch came spinning apart, crystal falling on the floor and so on. The students went wild, cheering, took up a collection to buy Warren a new watch and so on. I understood the power of Fascism that night, in the sense that, ... if one of us had gotten up and said, "On to the ROTC building!" five hundred students would have come out to burn down the ROTC building. That's how hot things were at that time. It was a tribute, I thought, to a feeling that, you know, this was a wrong war, and so, that was the teach-in. Then, of course, the aftermath was that Genovese became the issue in the gubernatorial campaign, but Hughes swept his opponent, just swept him.
SH: How long did the teach-in last? Was it just a twenty-four-hour type of thing?
LG: No, it wasn't even twenty-four hours. It began about nine o'clock at night and lasted until about seven in the morning.
SH: Just overnight.
LG: You ought to go back and read the Targum, and I think WRSU has tapes. They may still have them, if they haven't rotted.
SH: Hopefully, they have archived them or done something.
LG: Hope so.
SH: I know the students have a couple of questions they would like to ask you.
EK: What do you think is the distinction between the sit-in then, the atmosphere and the students themselves, towards what we see now?
LG: I'm sorry, I don't quite grasp.
EK: What are some of the big differences? A lot of people say the student body's more indifferent today, more ambivalent towards the situation, in the sense of protesting the war.
LG: ... I was reading this morning, in the New York Times, that students and young people are getting all their information from the web. That is, they'll get an email from a friend who will attach an article, and that seems, to me, to be a kind of activism in itself. That shows that people are interested in this kind of thing. Well, you know, I taught this course on the Middle Eastern wars last semester. ... It was a flop. I think it was a flop, in part, because of me, but, in part, also, because I just felt the students couldn't be turned on, even though there were three or four veterans of the Gulf War in there, and a couple who were going back to the Gulf War, in the military, and so, I was disappointed in that. Part of it was, I suppose, timing. It was a double period and, apparently, students don't like double periods at all, for some reason. I don't know. I certainly didn't like the course, just the way it shaped up from the beginning, but I don't think that's fair to generalize. ... I haven't taught any big lecture courses for two or three years now, taught honor students and this one course in the Middle Eastern wars. There's no doubt about it, there was an electricity, in the 1960s, that kind of has never been recaptured quite, I don't think. But, there was a draft, so, it was much more immediate. ... I'm not sure students are any less committed to things today than then, but there's a different ethos. I wish I could explain it more, but [I] can't. You're in a better position than I am.
RR: Speaking of the draft, can you explain how the atmosphere of the University changed because of the draft? Because of the draft, certain students would be going to the military; how did that affect the classroom experience, as well as the social experience, at the University?
LG: From the '60s, you mean? ...
RR: In relation to the Vietnam War and the beginning of the draft period.
LG: Oh, I see. Well, Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University has recently written a short piece called "The Great Divorce" and he says, "Today, military service is completely divorced from citizenship, that we truly do have what the Founding Fathers warned against, a standing army," and I think that is very important, in the sense that nobody has any moral duty to go into the military anymore. Now, even when you weren't drafted, back at that time, in that period, I think there was a sense that you might be called upon to do this, and then, you would have to make some fundamental decisions about whether you wanted to oppose something, what you wanted to do. That's no longer true. So, those kinds of searing, deep moral issues that came up in the Vietnam War will never come again, unless we have a draft, and that affects the whole atmosphere. The draft affects everyone's attitude, not just those who are draft eligible. It affects everyone's attitude. So, I think that is a change in the atmosphere. I think the History Department here, and, of course, I'm prejudiced, has always been one of the great saving graces of this university, unlike the sciences, although (that's not?) [in every case], but unlike the sciences, and so on, and so forth, I think there's more of a sense of responsibility for the whole picture in the History Department, teaching scholarship, citizenship, in the University, than there is in most other departments, by the nature of the discipline. That's a very subjective interpretation.
SH: Were you ever approached by any of the students for advice during the Vietnam War?
LG: To do what? Oh, constantly; I wouldn't give it.
SH: What would you tell them?
LG: I'd tell them, "That's your [decision]. You have to make this decision." You think I'm going to tell a student to go to Canada or to ... do something else to avoid the draft? No way.
SH: Did anyone ever come to you and say, "Professor Gardner, if I do not pass this course, I am out of the University and, therefore, subject to the draft. My number is right there?"
LG: There may have been some rare instances of that, but ... I can't remember specific instances. I remember students coming and telling me what they had done to avoid the draft, like drinking, staying up all night before their physical, drinking something to push their blood pressure up, some techniques. ... I remember, during the 1970 [period], when the University shut down for the Action for Peace Movement, I was co-chair with the student leader and we would sit over there in the student center or some other place. I didn't go home for about three or four nights, or very late, at least. We would sit over there and they'd tell me about their LSD trips. One of the student leaders had been on twelve LSD trips. He'd finally had a bad one, so, that was the end of that. I was thinking about my college days, when I broke into beer, you know, and gin and tonic, boy, that was a big breakthrough. You know, LSD, "Whew," pretty heavy stuff, and I can remember one guy, ... we were interviewing for a place in the History Department and somebody laughingly looked out the window and said, "Yes, there's the Student Center, 'Center for LSD,'" and so on, and so forth, "where you can get these things." This guy never wanted any more part of Rutgers. You know, he was happy down in Missouri, where, presumably, things like that didn't happen. [laughter] So, there was that. There was certainly that aspect of it, but another thing happened in 1970, [which] was that, if you look at our history majors through the 1960s, more and more students [were] becoming history majors to find out, "How the hell did we get here?" After 1970, that begins to tail off and there's a period of nihilism, after the 1970 period, when there's more rip-offs at the library than any other time and more students majoring in psychology. It was almost as if you had, up to 1970, the notion that you could speak truth to power and it made a difference, but that, after 1970, it didn't make any difference, so, we'd better understand ourselves. That's a superficial interpretation, because I've never studied the data very clearly, but I do know that there was a period of nihilism, destruction of university property and so on, after 1970.
PC: I want to take you off in a different direction, because I have to run out and do some chair stuff, but I wanted to get this question in, so, we may come back to it.
LG: We haven't even touched the surface.
PC: I know, but I want you to start talking about it. One of the things I remember from coming here was hearing stories about the way in which, of course, Rutgers College was an all men's college, but the faculty was also all male, almost, and, during your time here, probably, you were here when the first woman got into the Rutgers College History faculty, and then, subsequently, one or two more. It was quite a long time before the Rutgers History faculty had lots of women in it. What happened there? Can you tell us? How easy a transition was it to bring women into the faculty?
LG: Well, that wasn't difficult, because we had meetings with Douglass people and there were a lot of women on the Douglass faculty. ... When I first got here, Peter Charanis wouldn't even recommend women for graduate fellowships, because he said, "They'd just get married and we'd lose a fellowship," and there was a lot of that attitude. ... We had a faculty member here by the name of David Ringrose and his wife was taking a PhD in Byzantine history and he [Peter Charanis] wouldn't recommend her for any position more than thirty miles away from Highland Park, because she had to get home at night to get dinner. That was Peter Charanis' attitude, but, you know, that attitude faded away pretty easily, I think. ... I was trying to think, and I think the first woman hired, maybe not, was his successor, Angeliki Laiou. Wasn't she the first one?
PC: I think Carol Gruber was.
LG: Oh, God, yes, Carol Gruber was the first? ... Was she hired as a regular assistant professor?
PC: I don't know. I wasn't here. She's a name I associate with women first being in the department.
LG: Oh, I think Angeliki was ...
PC: First hired full-time.
LG: Yes, I don't know, maybe she wasn't. She was the most prominent, by far.
PC: Oh, yes, by far.
LG: It's sort of ironic that she would be Charanis' successor, the anti-woman professor.
PC: And then, he picked her.
LG: And he picked her, and Angeliki was a formidable person.
PC: This is a professor that went on to become chair of the Harvard History Department, truly a formidable [person].
LG: Yes. She was very formidable, and people talked about her being a possible chair, if she had stayed.
PC: The story I heard, and you can tell me if you've never heard it or if it's all a lie, is that when they first hired a woman here, which must have been Carol Gruber, but, in some capacity, she was in the department, was somebody, either Susman or McCormick or somebody, went around and insisted that all the couches be taken out of the offices.
LG: Oh, that's nonsense.
PC: You never heard that?
LG: No, no, no, no. [laughter] What I did hear about Carol Gruber was that she acted like a school marm. That's why I wondered about this, you know, that she sort of chastised people as if she was a school marm, you know, and I remember those complaints coming to me as chair. So, it's quite possible she was the first person, but I thought she was hired on a replacement basis for one year, and maybe that was extended for one year. I think Angeliki was the first full-time.
SI: You discussed earlier how one of your goals was to break down the traditional view of history and bring in these other disciplines. Where did that desire come from, within you?
LG: Yes, as a foreign policy historian. I mean, you know, ... Americans are so foreign country challenged, ... and language challenged and all that and all the rest, that I felt that it was important to a program in American diplomatic history, that we have people who could teach Southeast Asian history, who could teach Japanese history, African history, Chinese history.
SI: Did your colleagues accept this? Was there any friction?
LG: Yes, yes, they did. ... I think that, at this point, these older people, Winkler, McCormick and Charanis, were giving way to those of us who had been hired in the next go-around, and so, yes, I don't think there was any problem. It was very congenial, in that respect. It was exciting, because we were allowed to hire so many new people. Almost every year I was here there, for a period, we were hiring two or three people, three or four people, you know. It was just constant new blood coming into the department and that was an exciting thing, you know. You can't go from sixteen to fifty without a lot of excitement being created. I mean, we had some real old fogies, Ratner and one of the more recent hires, [Herbert H.] Herb Rowen, who insisted on calling me a Populist, too, you know, which I am, in part, but I didn't want him to call me that. There were a lot of older attitudes and so on. McCormick adjusted well, although Susman used to say, "He's such a naysayer." Warren was a great spark, a great controversial person and a great spark.
SI: His idea of teaching culture as history, how was that received within the History Department?
LG: Well, that's what Warren did, not as much as Jackson Lears, but, you know, I mean, Warren likes to teach things like Mickey Mouse, the importance of Mickey Mouse, "the most important person in history in the 1940s," you know. Well, you sit through one of these lectures and, by the end, you're nodding. Susman was very innovative and we all learned from him, but I don't think there's any problem with that. I think what's happened, however, is when the cultural historians suddenly decided politics was irrelevant, and that's a struggle that still goes on, as Paul would testify, this sort of notion, well, for example, the notion that anybody who studies politics or diplomacy is somehow retro. The only people who like it are the students and people who read books. [laughter]
PC: My first impression of walking into Rutgers College, I was actually hired at Douglass and got transferred over here, other than just being absolutely appalled by what the campus looked like, a very different reaction than Lloyd's, I was almost in tears, it looked like such a dump to me. After coming from Wisconsin and having visited Douglass, I walked into Warren's office and sitting on his desk was a Mouseketeer hat, with the things on it, [laughter] right there in the middle of the desk of the chairman. I could not believe it, and then, he told me about how he used it in teaching. It made complete sense to me, absolutely complete sense.
LG: He would do Gilbert and Sullivan, dance around on the stage and do Gilbert and Sullivan. Then, we had Bill Gillette, who'd dress up like a cowboy in those horrible mini-courses, but ...
PC: Did you teach a mini-course, Lloyd?
LG: Yes, I taught one.
PC: Which one did you teach?
LG: Something, I think, on a decade, probably, more than anything else. I taught one, then, I thought, "There's just no validity to this." I remember, the first year I was here, I knew that Dick McCormick took all the American historians and put them in the American history survey that he taught for a lecture or two, and you knew you were under judgment in some way. Okay, so, he says, "You want to give some lectures in the sophomore survey?" What are you going to say, "No?" [laughter] Said, "Sure." He said, "Well, what's your first one?" I said, "I'll lecture on John Adams." So, I gave this pro-John Adams lecture, you know, that he didn't go to war, despite all the pressure on him, all this kind of stuff. So, you know the tombstone, "Here lies John Adams. He kept us out of war." Dick says, "Oh, you have a particular liking for John Adams?" He's a Jeffersonian, and I said, "Yes, I do." I said, "We've got a little different slant at Wisconsin about some of these liberal heroes and villains and so on," and I said, "Next time, I'd like to have two lectures in a row, though, because I didn't get enough done in one lecture, didn't feel satisfied." He says, "Okay." So, he gave me Polk and the 1840s and the Mexican War. So, I was able to just damn Polk up one side and down the other, and I think he came across a rather confused picture of what I was, because, you know, at Wisconsin, a lot of these traditional heroes and villains in history had been turned upside down, in some ways, and, of course, that fit in with Warren and "The Three Trials of the '20s." We always want to be provocative and all that at Wisconsin. That was the name of the game at Wisconsin, be as provocative as possible, but that came very well here. I mean, this place was a godsend, in the sense of its openness to new ideas. It's always been that, it seems to me, at least in history. Didn't you feel that way?
PC: Yes, oh, absolutely.
LG: I mean, just, you know, you propose a new course; I got tired of putting it through all the evaluation, you know, "We have to look at this course." So, I teach "special topics" courses, ... say, "I want to teach this," teach it, wonderful experience, wonderful, and really led by some very good people over the years, some bad chairs, but almost eighty, ninety percent good, strong leaders, in spite all the silliness that goes on sometimes.
SH: When you came in 1963, what were the funding issues that the department was facing, and then, as chair, in the 1970s, seven years later?
LG: Didn't have any in the '70s.
SH: The money was flowing well.
LG: Hiring, salaries were going up. I mean, there was a big fuss about the unionization of the University. The Dean, Arnold Grobman, was very upset about that, because he said it destroyed the collegiality, but the fact was that in Mason Gross' regime, for the best of reasons, they created this "super professor" rank, Professor II, and the fact of the matter was that some departments appointed people simply out of cronyism to that rank, to get extra money. ... The Professor II rank, for a long time, was not vetted through the department. A chair might nominate somebody; that's the way I got it. The chair nominates somebody. The department didn't vote on me for ... Professor II. It was done down in Old Queens, and there were legitimate complaints about that and there were legitimate complaints about a lot of other things. So, despite Arnold Grobman's doubt about unionization, it helped to correct that situation. Now, the downside of that is that unions tend to be against merit, and, you know, once you get tenure at a university, let's just say that some people will see this as an absolute free ride for the rest of their lives. ... Part of your job is supposed to be publishing. ... So, some people say, "Well, we can resolve that by giving those people who don't publish more teaching to do," but sometimes your weakest publishers are also your weakest teachers. So, who are you punishing by putting them more in the classroom? It's a dilemma. I don't know how you resolve it. Wisconsin has a post-tenure review now. Many major universities have that.
PC: We've got one
LG: Do we have one?
PC: It's pretty superficial, but we've got one, yes.
LG: Yes. I mean, what they usually do is, you know, they say, "Well, can we help you?" you know. They come in with this friendly atmosphere. Instead of good cop/bad cop, it's all good cop. They come in, they say, "Can we help you?" you know, "Need another year off?" "Oh, yes, I'd like another year off." ... They don't do enough, it seems to me, to really enforce this kind of thing, but I don't know what the answer to the dilemma is. Some people, you know, you could teach them how to teach for days, months and years, wouldn't do a damn bit of good. I think that, to an extent, teachers are born, rather than made. ... This is a true anecdote. One day, we're sitting over in the faculty dining room, three historians, Richard P. McCormick, and one scientist. This is a true story. So, we're sitting there and one of the historians, I don't know who it was, said, "Why do so many historians go into administration?" So, we all thought for a minute and one said, "Well, historians are trained to see all sides of a question and that's what makes them good administrators." Another person said, "Historians study power, study power, and, when the chance comes to have a little power, to exercise it, they can't resist." So, I was agreeing with both of these things and the scientist said, "You know, the problem is that ... your discipline is so boring that, by the time you get to be age forty, you're desperate to do something else." [laughter]
SH: No one bought his lunch, I bet.
LG: It's a good story.
SH: It is, which brings me to the question, did you ever consider going into administration?
LG: No, but ... I spent six years on the Committee on Standards and Priorities, after I got really bored with History Department stuff. ... Bloustein appointed me to the Committee on Standards and Priorities. Now, this was his invention, and, later on, at one meeting of ... an outside evaluation team, the president of Penn State University said, "I'd give anything if I had a committee like this." This was a committee that was picked of the very most interested people in the University's welfare. It had less prejudice on it, less protection of special interests, than any other committee I've ever been on, and it was Bloustein's baby. ... This came up after a bad evaluation by an outside agency, Middle States evaluation, and so, he determined that he was not going to roll over and accept the idea that Rutgers had to be second-rate forever. He appointed this thing and his Executive Vice-President, Alec Pond, was our immediate liaison person. They started hiring really good people. Now, History had pulled itself up by its bootstraps. We didn't need that. We hired good people, we promoted good people and, for the most part, we kept good people. We've tended to lose some, especially those who live in New York and would rather stay in New York and teach than commute out every day, which is understandable, but we've had a very good record that way. A lot of departments just sort of were happy in this "Slough of Despond" and just, you know, "Let's everyone get along," and so on. ... So, the Committee on Standards and Priorities picked out the best departments to promote, to give them the most resources and so on. Those discussions were wonderful and I spent three years as a member, and then, three years as chair of that committee and loved it, and, of course, when [Francis L.] Lawrence, [eighteenth President of Rutgers University, 1990-2002], came in... We should have known when he got lost between Old Queens and Geology Hall, next door. He was supposed to come to us a couple of weeks after he came here or something. He was coming. So, we sat there, waiting to hear from the new president, didn't come, didn't come. Finally, we called up Old Queens and they found him wandering around Queens Campus down there, trying to figure out where Geology Hall was. [laughter]
PC: That's a great story. I've never heard that.
LG: It's true, but, of course, he didn't give a damn for us. I was used to writing two kinds of letters. As chair of the committee, I would write, when the committee made a decision, I would write, "Dear President Bloustein," or, "Dear Dr. Pond." Then, I would write personal letters, my take on what the committee was doing, "Dear Alec," "Dear Ed." So, I started the same thing with Lawrence, "Dear President Lawrence," or, "Dear Fran." Word came back to me, immediately, that this was lèse majesté; I was not to address the President as anything other than, "Dear President Lawrence." So, then, interestingly enough, a little while after that, you know, he had his Economics professor up there as his number two ...
PC: Joe Seneca.
LG: Joe Seneca, right, exactly. So, at any rate, Joe and I had been on some budget committees together and worked very hard on the budget committees, but there was a revolt going on amongst the Professor IIs across the University and, as a former chair of the Committee on Standards and Priorities, they sort of enlisted me. Now, when the shooting started, most of them faded into the backwoods, ran for cover, but I called Joe up, as a friend, and I said, "Joe, there's trouble brewing and you should know about this." You know, what I was hinting at was, "I'd like to talk to you, Joe, to see if we can't reestablish some form of communication." Got off the phone and, from that point on, I was banished from anything to do with the University, being called in to anything, until years later, many, many years too late. I was called to a meeting at the Hyatt Regency and ... Gene O'Hara, [a former chairman of the Rutgers Board of Governors], was there and several members of the faculty and the topic on the table was, "President Lawrence and what can we do to get rid of him?" Now, it wasn't that blatant, but, clearly, the Board of Governors had finally got the word that this man was just not good, ... and this can all be on the record, as far as I'm concerned. I have no problems whatsoever about this, and that was the beginning of the end, finally, and one of my former students, who was then Chair of the Board of Governors, [Richard A.] Rich Levao, ... he'd never got it. He never got it. Rich never got it, as much as I like Rich, and so on, and so forth. He's now president of Springfield; ... no, that's not right, someplace up north, on the Turnpike or Garden State, Springbrook? He's now president of that college, [Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ]. It's too bad. Those were wasted years. I remember, the night before Lawrence's inaugural, when I was still being invited to those things, I was at a table with Alec Pond and Alec was sitting there and Lawrence was going through his Dixieland/Preservation Hall stuff, with an umbrella, up in front, and Alec Pond was groaning at the table. So, Alec was soon out. You know, whatever you thought about Alec Pond and Ed Bloustein's having a small group of people that they trusted, sort of a kitchen cabinet, Lawrence had no one, except a few people he brought in. He was just bad. I mean, there are all kinds of stories about how he got appointed.
SH: I wanted to ask you, because you were on what sounds like a very powerful and useful committee ...
LG: Standards and Priorities, yes, also known as the Gorenstein Committee, after the first chair.
SH: You were not called on to be part of this search.
LG: When Bloustein died? No, I was not.
SH: I know it was quite sudden.
LG: Oh, no, I was not, but that doesn't mean anything. I had left the Committee on Standards and Priorities at that point, but some of the people that I really respect were on that search committee and they were held up. You know, Lawrence, his name was just one of those that went forward. ... The search committees always have to send a number of names forward and his name was sent forward, I have heard, because; what I heard, and it came from some sources, but what I heard was that one member of the search committee, from Douglass College, said there was nobody on there who was a real feminist, on the list that went forward, and Lawrence's name was put forward because of that.
SH: No one could say, "Let us continue to search."
LG: There are some other shenanigans that went on. You know who's better to talk about this is Don Edwards. He knows more about it. The current chair of the Board of Governors, at that time, there's something strange there, too.
SI: Can you talk more about your opinion of and relationship with President Bloustein?
LG: Well, Ed, when he came, he made a very bad beginning. I mean, after all, he was president of Bennington College, which was smaller than my daughter's high school, and to go from Bennington College, the small, elite, liberal school, to this; there were going to be demonstrations the day of his inaugural, and his inaugural was held over in the gym over there, or at least part of it was. ... I heard from Dean [Howard] Crosby, who was a wonderful Dean of Students, at that time, I heard from Dean Crosby that Bloustein had circulated to other members of the administration a statement. He was going to denounce student demonstrations, unruly student demonstrations, and he'd already written this out. ... I was there when he got up to speak and there were some murmurs and shouts and waving, but nothing really dramatic, and he pretended to be writing, as if he was ad-libbing this all into his speech, and it was Crosby who later told me it was all written out beforehand, and he got up and he denounced certain kinds of student demonstrations. I thought, "Come on, give me a break. You're not at Bennington now. This is no longer playtime. This is different." ... But, after that, I thought he adjusted very, very well and, particularly, his response to the Middle States evaluation, which was, "I'm not going to take this lying down. I'm not going to accept the notion that they're saying, that Rutgers has to be second-rate. I'm not going to accept that." The first thing he did was appoint Alec to do something about it, Alec Pond, his Executive Vice-President, and then, the creation of the Committee on Standards and Priorities, which began an evaluation of every graduate program and categorized them as "A," "B," or "C," or "one star," "no star," "minus star," whatever, and directed resources to improve the best. Now, the departments that weren't very good didn't like that, obviously, ... but it made them scramble to try to improve themselves. ... There was, of course, the student notion, "Oh, you're hiring big stars; what about teaching?" and so on, and so forth. I'll tell you one of the great sins, and it's not just Rutgers, if American graduate science programs were required to take only American students, they would all collapse. It's the truth. The way in which grants are given out to individual science professors, so that they can bring in students from other lands, is such that who gives a damn about whether they can speak English or teach or not. I mean, I've heard this from students, as well as my own experience on the committee and otherwise. You go into math, beginning math, beginning physics and so on, you're very likely to get a student who can barely speak English teaching you. So, that's a problem, but the other side of it is, American students don't want to go into math. They want to be MBAs, ... they want this, they want that. Our lead in science, "Whoosh," right down the drain, ... but, what happens is, these people come over and they're supposed to be teaching and learning English, English as a second language, and the professors who brought them over, and it's their research grants, are saying, "What are you doing? You owe me so many hours a week. You owe me this many more hours a week to do this. You're not supposed to be out there doing this, [learning English]," and that is a disgrace. That is a true disgrace, but it's not unique to Rutgers, by any means. I'm sure all of you've heard stories about TAs who can't speak in the sciences, and so on, can't speak [English]. It's not unique to Rutgers.
SH: The follow up to that would be, was Bloustein able to implement these changes in all of the departments across the University?
LG: Well, the ones that were picked out for special treatment, yes.
SH: You said the History Department, basically, was already ...
LG: We got some breaks for it. We were always top-rated. We slipped a little bit, a few years ago, but we were always top-rated. We never had any problem with resources, never, that I know of.
SH: With Bloustein and the relationship with Trenton, were you involved in any of that at all?
SH: What about the demonstrations at Old Queens?
SH: When Bloustein was here?
LG: That was that first time, you mean? Yes, that happened that first time, but that was ...
SH: Do you think he handled it well?
LG: I think he overreacted, the first year or two, but, other than that, I think he did very well. I remember, one time, I was sitting at dinner, we had a dinner party, and I got a call, "The President wants you ... down at the Rutgers Police Department," and so, I went down there and here was Bloustein walking back and forth, it was all over by the time I got there, praising the police for how well they'd handled this. There wasn't anything, really, to handle. ... It was, again, I think, you know, that Bennington experience had not prepared him for even minor kinds of disruptions. By the time he got here, we were used to this.
SH: You were seasoned. [laughter]
SH: What about the Rutgers Police Department?
LG: What about it?
SH: Did you have any opinion on them and how they reacted to these events?
LG: No. I don't think they were particularly bad. ...
SH: I just wondered.
LG: I don't think they ever shot anybody. [laughter] ... Do they still have Mugrat? Does that still come out in the spring? I mean, that's a wonderful institution and you read ... about the Rutgers Police shooting a student for stealing an extra orange in the dining room. [laughter] [Editor's Note: The Mugrat is a satirical spoof edition of the Rutgers student newspaper, The Daily Targum, published once a semester.]
SH: It is always a shock to see somebody pick that up for the first time.
LG: Yes. I love the Mugrat. That was always fun.
SI: Some of the criticism I have heard from other faculty members of Bloustein was that he treated the faculty like employees rather than colleagues. Did you find that to be true?
LG: Treated them like what?
SI: More like a boss treating an employee, rather than a colleague.
LG: Well, what did they think of Lawrence? What did they think of Lawrence, for Christ sakes? Lawrence didn't treat with them at all. He ignored them.
SI: However, did you find that to be true about Bloustein?
LG: Most of my contacts, even though I was involved in all this and was a chair of these things and so on, was more in line with Alec Pond. You know, I had dinner a few times at Bloustein's house and so on. I was not part of the inner inner circle. There, you'd have to go to [Professor of Mathematics Daniel E.] Danny Gorenstein and two or three others who were part of his very, very close [circle] and so on, but I never had any [problem]. I remember, one time, we had a faculty meeting on the question of secret research at Rutgers and I know that Bloustein was very worried about there being a genuine revolt against secret research, because so much money came to the University that way, and we denounced it, several of us, this sort of thing, and he was there. He was not happy about that. ... When one CIA [head] had gone out, someone told me that he'd applied to be head of the CIA. He wanted to be head of the CIA. So, I would say, you know, Ed was a sort of typical Cold War liberal. For all that, he was a good university president, I thought.
SH: I cannot even conceive, from what I have read of him and what you have said, how he would even entertain such a thought, head of the CIA, from Bennington College to ...
LG: Well, look at Hillary. She's a Cold War liberal. We'll be cursed if she's elected.
SI: Can you tell us a little bit about, from the time you first arrived, the development of your research interests and your teaching interests?
LG: Well, that came at Wisconsin. I mean, I walked in a seminar, the first year of graduate school, and Fred Harrington, who was my seminar teacher, said, "Your masters thesis is worth an article and your PhD thesis is worth a book, and, if you don't feel that way, you don't belong here at Wisconsin." ... I thought, "Boy;" you know, I thought I was going to go back to someplace like Ohio Wesleyan, be "Mr. Chips," "Students love me," you know, and all that kind of crap, ... because I loved Ohio Wesleyan. I had a wonderful time there and I loved my professors. ... You know, Sam Baily, every now and then, will talk about how wonderful it would be to teach at Swarthmore. I said, "Right, Sam, right. How much would you publish if you were at Swarthmore?" I think it was instilled to us at Wisconsin that your obligation was to publish, was to write and publish, wherever you work, whether you're at Rutgers or anyplace. So, when I came here, I thought, "That's perfectly reasonable. That's what they expect. That's what I want to do; give you a teaching load which is reasonable." The only problem is, of course, a lot of people just think, "Oh, how can I possibly do that and do a good job teaching?" Well, you can do it.
SH: Like you said, some are born teachers.
LG: Some are. You see, I'd had eight years of college and high school debate and public speaking. I went into debate my freshman year in high school, and four years of college debate. You learned how to deal with audiences in that situation. So, I loved it, always loved it. Not [always] true; I think a lot of people are afraid when they get in the classroom, sit there with their notes ...
SH: Or they read their book.
LG: Yes, ... and some college professors act like high school teachers, you know, "You will fold your paper over this way, and you will do this." God, you've had them, you know, but there's some great teachers here at Rutgers.
SH: I am going to jump back to the administration again. You recommended that we interview someone who was involved in the ...
LG: Don Edwards.
SH: Don Edwards, public relations. I know Eric has to leave, but he also was the one who found the New York Times article. How often were you interviewed during these controversial times? What kind of PR, what kind of "handling," was done?
LG: I wasn't, as far as I know. You can find out all kinds of things about me by going to Google. I'm astounded, what's on there. [laughter]
SH: Yes, I think we all are, but I just wondered, did anyone ever say to you, "Do not talk to the Times this week?"
LG: No, no.
SH: No, none of that.
SI: A year-and-a-half ago now, I had the opportunity to go to Chicago to meet with Studs Terkel.
LG: Oh, does he remember our interview?
SI: Yes. That is what I wanted to ask you about.
SI: I said, "I am here from Rutgers," and he said, "Rutgers? Is Lloyd Gardner still there?" I said, "Yes." I wanted to know more about that, how you met him and so on.
LG: Well, it was one of his programs. I don't remember which one, but he came here and he spent ...
SH: He came to Rutgers?
LG: Yes, and we taped down in the building where the Economics Department is.
SI: New Jersey Hall.
LG: That was a nice morning and we started out walking up and down that part of the campus, you know, that's a very pretty part, with the cameras on Susman, me and Terkel, and, gee, I wonder what ever happened to that tape. It'd be sort of interesting. I don't know what we said that day or anything else. I just remember Studs Terkel interviewing us and talking about colleges and so on, and, at one point, you know, he was firing questions at us and I said, "Well, what do you think about this?" and he didn't cotton to that. ... On tape, he said he liked it, but, then, when they shut the tape off, that was all cut out, he didn't say anything. But, yes, it was kind of an interesting day. For a half an hour show, we taped three or four hours' worth of tape. Yes, I'm amazed he remembers that.
SI: He blurted it right out.
SH: Set the scenario.
SI: At the Rutgers Oral History Archives, we have an honor society called the Rutgers Living History Society that we induct everybody we interview into. The Society gives an award, a lifetime achievement award, to people involved in oral history, and we gave it, last year, to Studs Terkel. Due to age and health, he could not come to New Jersey, so, I flew out there to Chicago and presented him with the award and did a half-hour interview with him to be shown at the annual meeting. Right away, I said I was from Rutgers and he said, "Oh, yes, Lloyd Gardner, Lloyd Gardner. [laughter] Can we get this on the road?" He was writing his latest book at the time.
LG: Yes. Well, he and I share a publisher now, New Press, and, yes, he's one of the grand old men of all kinds of things, but, particularly, interviews and living history and all that sort of thing. How amazing.
SH: You must have made your mark.
SI: I would bet it is on file with the rest of his materials at the Chicago Historical Society. I know his personal papers and the tapes from the shows wound up there. Would it have been in the 1970s?
LG: Probably, but why he picked on us, I can't remember why, especially, or why it was Warren and me. I mean, I can't remember that.
SH: I was going to ask, did someone assign you this or did he call you?
LG: No, I don't remember being assigned that.
SH: Did he call you specifically?
LG: He must have, he must have. I had a publisher in Chicago at that time, Ivan R. Dee, and it might be that he knew Ivan. I know Ivan knew him, it could be, and, yes, that was a fun time. What good are these notes you take, because you've got it all [on tape]?
SI: These are notes for more questions to ask. We let the recorder record the actual material of the interview. Thank you very much for your time and being so candid and frank. [laughter]
SH: Thank you.
LG: Getting myself in trouble.
LG: The second year I was here, the students came to me. Several of them asked me to be the debate coach and I was struck by the fact that, [at] Ohio Wesleyan, which is only a school of two thousand, we had two or three people in the speech department who shared debate coach responsibilities. I mean, it was a big thing. Well, you know, if you're producing all those Methodist ministers, that's one thing, but, at any rate, they came to me and I said, "Well, sure," I said, "I'd be happy to help you out. ... I want to hear your speeches," I mean, because I knew a lot about college debate and I wanted to see what they were like. ... I knew it couldn't have changed that much, or at least I thought it couldn't have changed. So, I came in and the first guy got up. He spoke so fast, you couldn't understand him, and I said, "What are you talking about? What is this?" and they said, "Well, that's the way judges judge us now, on how much you can get done in your ten minutes, how much you can get in." I said, "But where's argumentation? Where's persuasion? Where's the art of speech?" "No, there wasn't any of that." So, I said, "Well, I don't think I can help you," and that was the end of that, and I don't know what the state of college debate is today, whether there are college debates now or what, but, at that time, in the 1950s and the 1960s, [there was], but it changed, you know. In the 1950s, really big, we had massive tournaments, big tournaments that I went to when I was in college.
SH: It was an honor to get chosen to be part of a debate team. You really had to try out for it, as though it were an athletic event.
LG: Yes, you're absolutely right, and our debate coach at Ohio Wesleyan was a wonderful guy who was a wonderful speaker and taught us how to do it. I remember, one time, I was debating with a guy who was going to be a minister, Episcopalian minister, and, as a matter-of-fact, I debated him all through high school. He was the sort of guy who would show up in a class and he'd be there the first day, and then, he would come back for the exams and always get "As." You know, he would command the clock, brilliant, brilliant guy. So, we're picking him up at his fraternity house, ... early one Saturday morning, to go on a debate trip and we got to the debate and he had a big briefcase. You know, we always carried big briefcases, to be impressive, spread our materials out, glare at the other team, and he looked in his briefcase. He turned to me and he said, "Lloyd." I said, "Yes, George?" He said, "Lloyd, I don't have any of my materials. I was at a retreat last night and my briefcase is full of Bibles." Said, "Okay." So, he got up to speak, he took a Bible with him and he began, he said, "I take my text for the day," and he picked out a verse that was absolutely appropriate for what the guy had said, and then, he ad-libbed through the rest, just totally extemporaneous. ... I sat back and I thought, "Brilliant," and he became an Episcopalian minister and, unfortunately, he died early. He had a heart condition, in his fifties, and he died. Of the four of us on that debate team, another one died, in '92, and the other one's on Wall Street, making lots of money, and whether he's still alive or not, I don't know, but we were a good team.
SH: You speak fondly and well of the education that you got at Ohio Wesleyan.
LG: Wesleyan; there's no "Z" in that. We became very particular about that. Vaughn Monroe, remember Vaughn Monroe, Old Soldiers Never Die, Camel Caravan? Oh, we used to get all those orchestras, Ray Anthony, (Souder Finnegan?), Vaughn Monroe, and they would come perform at Ohio Wesleyan and that was the beauty of being at a small school like that. They came to you. I mean, we had wonderful speaker lecture series, wonderful, and everybody went. You know, you got these tickets at the beginning of the year, students got these tickets to concert series, the lecture series. You paid a minimal price for them, but people showed up. You couldn't get an audience like that, even at a huge school like this, here, unless Noam Chomsky comes. Then, he gets big people. Yes, I think we got a good education. At the time, you know, I always felt, "Why wasn't I thinking about Harvard or Yale or something like that?" but the wife of one of my fellow graduates at Ohio Wesleyan, when I was bemoaning this ten or fifteen years [later] at some reunion, afterwards, she said, "Ohio Wesleyan gave you everything you needed. It was perfect for you," and that was true. If I had gone, say, to Harvard or something, I could never have entertained any of my classmates at my house. I mean, the reach between "us and them" ... would be too great.
SH: Do you feel that you imparted that same type of love of learning and excellent scholarship to your students here at Rutgers? I know the setting is totally different.
LG: The students, you know, I was talking to the Director of Alumni Relations, ... I just came back from Peru, ... Keri [DeMayo]? She was down there with us on that trip. ... She said that she graduated from Rutgers in '94 and, at that time, everybody put that on their list as a safe school, she said. I thought it was Delaware, but she said it was Rutgers, at that time. Now, it's not true. I always felt the best students we got in history would stack up with any students anywhere. I always felt, however, that even though our graduate program is one of the very best in the country, that schools out in the Midwest and other places feel they have to have a Harvard or a Yale person on the faculty, and so, the Rutgers PhD candidates never got a fair shake in interviews, as much as they should have, as much as they should have. I could have gone to Columbia, but Columbia was not willing to provide the kind of fellowship aid that I could get for my students here, as much, at least. I have first-rate graduate students and I would have gotten first-rate graduate students at Columbia. Probably, if I'd gone to Columbia, I would have been asked to review for the New York Times more often. There is a kind of Eastern elitism that's centered in that city up there that is sometimes grating. Take, for example, the Society of American Historians; this is a society that's by invitation only and it is a society that supposedly recognizes the best in historical writing. Okay, so, I was invited to join that [the] same year I interviewed at Columbia. Coincidence? I don't think so, and I look around at the members of that society, some of whom have published maybe one book, and that an okay book. It's very much a Columbia operation. The Bancroft Prize, a Columbia operation; look at the number of Columbia connected people who've won the Bancroft. Pulitzers, a Columbia operation; I mean, there's just no question, but that's the way that that works. So, when you say, "Do I feel very much a part of [Rutgers]," I think the leap from Ohio Wesleyan to Rutgers is a shorter leap than the leap would be from Ohio Wesleyan to Columbia or Princeton, something like that. ... You know, I interviewed at Columbia and they made me an offer, but Rutgers did so much more for me then. Dick McCormick "the Younger," [Richard L. McCormick, nineteenth President of Rutgers University, 2002-Present], I hadn't told anybody, he found out about the offer, someway, from friends at Columbia or something. So, I got this call, it's when he was dean, "Let's have lunch." I didn't know what it was about. ... He laid out a three-page letter, "This is what I'm willing to do for you here, if you'll stay here," and it was very nice.
SH: Was that the only time you seriously considered leaving Rutgers?
LG: No. I seriously considered leaving in '84. I was in Finland. I was the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair Professor at the University of Helsinki, and the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, invited me out, in the middle of the winter. Now, you go from Helsinki to San Diego [laughter] and they present you with a bowl of oranges that were grown just outside and you can jog in the morning, looking out at the whales. That's very nice, and so, I came back to Helsinki, and then, I had some health problems in Finland. I had a drug reaction to a drug I was taking and it was making me feel very bad and they were taking so damned long out there and they had this system of ad hoc committees. The department votes, then, an ad hoc committee has to vote on it, and the chair of the ad hoc committee had a heart attack and was out of commission for awhile. ... Here I was and they kept saying, you know, "Wait, wait," and I was feeling worse and worse and I finally called them up, from Helsinki, and said, "Forget it," you know. Two years later, they came back, "We want you to come," and so on, and I said, "Okay, what are you offering?" and it was going to be less than I was making at Rutgers the next year, but that wasn't the only reason. Nancy would have had to retool to teach. We'd have been a continent away from our kids. San Diego is a long way away, beautiful, paradise, practically. It is very nice. San Diego Zoo is wonderful. I mean, you know, it was great. I thought very seriously about it for a long while. It was just after Susman died and McCormick retired and there were lots of things going on in the department that I felt I needed to see about. So, in fact, ... well, down and dirty again, the election for super chair, only it was a different kind of thing. All this Planning and Liaison Committee stuff was over, just going to be one big, happy department now, no whatever, and our Rudy Bell and Dick McCormick "the Younger" approached me about running for chair of the department. ... This was the first chairmanship ... after the reorganization completed, and I said, "Okay, I'll run," but I didn't feel like campaigning. I wasn't going to go out and ask anybody for a vote and I guess that was what was required or something and there were organized campaigns against me. I think, in part, because I had written some letters to the Targum about various things and I was considered not a big friend of Douglass. ... So, the irony was, they elected [Gerald N.] Gerry Grob chair, who was, I think, even less favorable than I was, ... but there were certain people here who felt, you know, I should have come to them and said, "I will do this for you." So, then, the next year, I went off to Finland, first year of Grob's chairmanship, and then, when San Diego came up, I felt estranged a bit and I was having a drug problem, with the medicine. It was a blood pressure drug called Tenormin. Don't ever take it if it's offered to you, for any problem, because it's one of the few blood pressure drugs that crosses the brain barrier. Most drugs do not cross the brain barrier. There is a barrier up there that keeps bad things from getting into your brain, but Tenormin crosses that and it tends to make you sleepless and you get afraid of things, like the telephone and so on. So, with all that combination, it was not a good year, '83-'84. I'm trying to think of the famous mystery writer, Raymond Channing, Chandler? One of the wonderful Bogart movies made out of his novels, and I got out there and they said, "Look, we can go into the bar and you can sit where Ray Chandler sat, have a drink." That was great. [Editor's Note: Raymond T. Chandler was an author of crime/detective novels and creator of the Philip Marlowe character. Humphrey Bogart played Marlowe in the 1946 film adaptation of Chandler's 1939 novel The Big Sleep.]
SH: A little different than going to Pittsburgh.
LG: Very much different, very much different, and very much warmer atmosphere, in all ways, yes, but I didn't want to go back; I'd have to go back to teaching recent US as well as foreign policy. I didn't want to do that. Housing costs were high the first time. Then, they caught up in the East. The first time they brought me out there, the housing cost was, compared to what I could get for selling the house in New Jersey, incredibly higher out there. Two years later, there'd been a housing revolution here and ... we could have bought something decent out there, but Nancy didn't want to do that and I didn't want to take on recent US as well as foreign policy.
SH: Let us pause now.
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