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Free Speech Movement Oral History Project

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Interview Transcripts

John Leggett Transcript

Conducted by Lisa Rubens in 2001, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2014.

Photo of John Legget, November 9, 1964

John Leggett was an assistant professor of Sociology and was one of the most active faculty members supporting FSM. In this interview he discusses his family’s political background; and his own experiences helping to found SDS, working with SNCC , organizing in Detroit and membership in the Socialist Party. He analyzes the social and cultural characteristics of FSM participants and leaders; he comments on the attitudes of colleagues in the Department of Sociology regarding FSM; he recounts his role in key events of FSM and his efforts to gain support for FSM from other universities, unions and community organizations. Leggett was denied tenure at UC Berkeley–he argues because of his politics. After teaching at Simon Fraser he was tenured in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University.

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