April 12, 2003

STILL FIGHTING THE COLD WAR:


A Man Who Thinks Otherwise (Richard Monastersky, Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/11/2003)
It was hard to be apolitical at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1930s, especially as a graduate student of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Mr. Morrison was one of Oppenheimer's most promising protégés, and like many physicists in that circle, he belonged to the Communist Party, which fought for liberal causes such as organizing farmworkers and promoting civil rights for African-Americans....

Mr. Morrison felt driven to promote peace, but he foresaw that growing tensions with the Soviet Union might hinder freedom of expression. So he declined an invitation to return to the physics department at Berkeley. "I knew that Berkeley was going to be one of the most vulnerable of places," he says. "A state university can't stand out against a majority opinion, even if it is weak and poorly supported."

Instead, in the summer of 1946, he headed for Ithaca, N.Y....

But even there, Mr. Morrison could not hide from the Federal Bureau of Investigation or from red-baiting members of Congress and the press....

The attacks from Communist hunters diminished as the '50s closed, but it would be many more years before the country would catch up with Mr. Morrison's unbridled support for peace.


Truly, all the old leftists will have to die before the Cold War fighting ends. Still, it is nice that the Chronicle helps us younger folk find out what the Communist Party stood for. I suppose the reason you don't hear much about them any more is that, farmworkers having won unions and African-Americans civil rights, they decided to disband. Posted by Paul Jaminet at April 12, 2003 9:12 AM
Comments

The American military and FBI were well aware of J. Robert Oppenheimer's political beliefs.



However, Oppenheimer was too important to the Manhattan Project's success to be cut out of the action.



So, the intelligence gatherers wisely knew more about Oppenheimer's daily activities than did Oppenheimer.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at April 12, 2003 3:40 PM

Yep, J Edgar shoulda rounded up all them commies and fried them on the chair. Yee ha. That'ud teach them goldurn marksians to stay on thar side of the planet.



Redneck idiot. This is someone who committed his life to protecting your freedom. He's a genuine American hero, not a Bush-style insta-hero (i.e. apparently any and all of the quarter million USA soldiers stumbling around in the Middle East at the moment).

Posted by: Bill Gates at April 12, 2003 5:58 PM

Yep, J Edgar shoulda rounded up all them commies and fried them on the chair. Yee ha. That'ud teach them goldurn marksians to stay on thar side of the planet.



Redneck idiot. This is someone who committed his life to protecting your freedom. He's a genuine American hero, not a Bush-style insta-hero (i.e. apparently any and all of the quarter million USA soldiers stumbling around in the Middle East at the moment).

Posted by: Bill Gates at April 12, 2003 5:58 PM

Bill - Those "stumbling" U.S. soldiers just liberated 26 million Iraqis in 3 weeks -- and, unlike Oppenheimer, who committed a few years, these soldiers really did commit their lives. BTW, John said that the FBI "wisely" didn't
round up them commies, just the opposite of the view you attribute to him.



Do you have any points to make other than misattributions and insults?

Posted by: pj at April 12, 2003 8:39 PM
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