Ivy and Industry

Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980

Ivy and Industry

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: Published: January 2004

American Studies, History > U.S. History, Pedagogy and Higher Education

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

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


“[A] much-needed context for contemporary labor battles. The first two chapters in particular are an outstanding, insightful high-level summary of the history of the university’s relationship with business.” — Floyd Olive, Workplace

“[A] provocative work. It offers humanists a way to think about the dilemmas their disciplines face in an increasingly technological environment. And it offers scientists, technologists, and historians of science and technology an opportunity to see their domains from a perspective rather different from their own.” — Albert H. Teich, Technology and Culture

“[T]he most striking recent reconception of the American university. A hybrid of theoretical and historical accounts, it presents an original and compelling argument that the American university developed by adapting American business techniques.” — Jeffrey J. Williams , American Literary History

"[A] carefully researched study. . . . [T]imely and clear discussion about a debatable topic." — Leroy Hommerding, Library Journal

"[An] absorbing historical account. . . . [Newfield's] observations are insightful and support his opinion that humanism and management are in conflict. . . ." — Cindy Kryszak , Foreword Reviews

"[D]etailed and well researched. . . . Newfield offers a concise and thoughtful consideration of literary criticism's radical response to the industrial world, insightfully concluding that the liberal arts and business culture are also inextricably linked. The university, like the industry to which it is faithfully wed, has played a vital role in shaping this nation, and Newfield, by dissecting that relationship, has made a valuable contribution to the understanding of our culture." — Publishers Weekly

"[E]normously appealing. . . ." — Roger W. Bowen, Academe

"[O]ne of the most important books on class published during the last several years." — Andrew Hoberek, American Literature

"Newfield conceives his subject broadly and challenges readers, whatever their a priori inclinations, to think anew about institutions that have been, and remain, vital to American society. . . . Newfield shows by historical example how influential the university and the humanities have been and, by implication, can be again. His book, then, is intended as an antidote to the malaise that infects humanistic studies, and, as such, it works."

— John W. Servos , Business History Review

"Newfield's book gives us a . . . complex and convincing account of the place of the university in American society. . . . Ivy and Industry captures [the] conflicted role and explains how it has been played out in discourses about the university." — David R. Shumay , Minnesota Review

"This book has some fine moments and interesting insights for the patient reader. . . ." — Jane Robbins , History of Education Quarterly

"This is a good book on an important topic. A reader puts it down with greater awareness of the issues currently facing higher education" — Henry J. Bruton , EH.Net

“Christopher Newfield’s application of the management model and metaphor to the academic scene leads him into what is by far the freshest and most nuanced argument on the corporatization of the university that I can think of.” — Bruce Robbins, author of Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture

“In this compellingly argued book, Christopher Newfield puts current discussions of the corporatization of higher education in a completely new and historically informed light. As Newfield shows, the marriage of ivy and industry is both older and more complex than current critiques of the university have suggested.” — Gerald Graff, author of Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind

“Ivy and Industry makes a seminal contribution to the mounting debate over the role of marketplace values in higher education. In elegant and nuanced prose, Christopher Newfield argues persuasively that for more than a century the American university has both spoken truth to, and been the handmaiden of, power. Those committed to a revitalized liberal education have found their champion.” — David L. Kirp, author of Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

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

Table of Contents Back to Top
Part I. The Two Missions

1. Introduction 3

2. A Permanent Dependence 15

3. The Humanist Outcry 41

Part II. The Managerial Condition

4. The Rise of University Management 67

5. Babbitry and Meritocracy 91

6. Managerial Protection and Scientific Success 115

7. Grey Flannel Radicals 133

Part III. The Market Revival

8. The Industry-Science Alliance 167

9. Corporate Pleasure and Business Humanism 195

10. Epilogue: The Second Story 215

Notes 229

Acknowledgments 277

Index 279
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3201-5