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Free Speech Movement Oral History Project

About the Project
Interview Transcripts

Robert Scalapino Transcript

Conducted by Lisa Rubens in 2000, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2014.

Photo of Professor Scalapino 12/7/1964
Professor Scalapino speaking at Greek Theater during special convocation called by department chairmen. December 7, 1964

Robert Scalapino is a distinguished scholar of Japanese and Chinese communist party politics. During FSM he was chairman of the Department of Political Science and a staunch opponent of the movement. He and argues that the movement’s legacy is the election of Ronald Reagan as governor. He served as a faculty negotiator with the students and administration during the October 1 and 2 surrounding of the police car. He chaired the Council of Departmental Chairmen and the University Forum, December 7, 1964, at which President Clark Kerr presented a defense of the arrest of students who had occupied Sproul Hall. At this meeting Mario Savio was infamously prevented from speaking by campus police and Scalapino arranged for Savio’s release. Scalapino also discusses his youth in California, his graduate studies at Harvard, his work for the Office of War Information during World War II, his focus on Communist Party formation in Asia and his views on the War in Vietnam.

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