Allies and Rivals

German-American Exchange and the Rise of the Modern Research University

Emily J. Levine

Allies and Rivals

Emily J. Levine

384 pages | 12 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226341811 Will Publish March 2021
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226341958 Will Publish March 2021
During the nineteenth century, nearly ten thousand Americans traveled to Germany to study in universities renowned for their research and teaching. By the mid-twentieth century, American institutions led the world. How did America become the center of higher education excellence? And what does that story reveal about who will lead in the twenty-first century?

Allies and Rivals is the first history of the ascent of American higher education told through the lens of German-American exchange. In a series of compelling portraits of such leaders as Wilhelm von Humboldt, Martha Carey Thomas, and W.E.B. Du Bois, Emily J. Levine shows how academic innovators on both sides of the Atlantic competed and collaborated to shape the research university. Even as nations sought world dominance through scholarship, universities retained values apart from politics and economics. Open borders enabled Americans to unite the English college and German PhD to create the modern research university, a hybrid replicated the world over.
In a captivating narrative spanning one hundred years Levine upends notions of the university as a timeless ideal, restoring universities to their rightful place in history. In so doing she reveals that innovation in the twentieth century was rooted in international cooperation—a crucial lesson that bears remembering today.
Introduction: The University’s Century

1. The Humboldtian Contract and the Federalist Origins of the Research University

2. Göttingen in Baltimore: The Stakes of Knowledge Exchange

3. Meet Me in St. Louis: Dilemmas of the Knowledge Economy 

4. Reluctant Innovators: Change from the Margins

5. An “Aristocracy of Excellence”: The Rise of the Professions

6. Carnegie, Capital, and the Kaiser

7. World War I and the Invention of Academic Freedom

8. The “Hour for Experiment” in New York and Frankfurt

9. 1933: Annus Horribilis

10. 1933: Annus Mirabilis




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