- "Keep the Damned Women Out"
"Keep the Damned Women Out"
The Struggle for Coeducation
Nancy Weiss Malkiel
- Hardcover2016Hardcover35.0027.95ISBN9780691172996672 pp.6 x 9 1/444 halftones. 1 line illus. 11 tables.Live
- PaperbackPaperback27.9522.95ISBN9780691181110672 pp.6 1/8 x 9 1/444 b/w illus., 11 tablesNot yet publishedforthcoming May 2018
As the tumultuous decade of the 1960s ended, a number of very traditional, very conservative, highly prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and the United Kingdom decided to go coed, seemingly all at once, in a remarkably brief span of time. Coeducation met with fierce resistance. As one alumnus put it in a letter to his alma mater, "Keep the damned women out." Focusing on the complexities of institutional decision making, this book tells the story of this momentous era in higher education—revealing how coeducation was achieved not by organized efforts of women activists, but through strategic decisions made by powerful men.
In America, Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth began to admit women; in Britain, several of the men's colleges at Cambridge and Oxford did the same. What prompted such fundamental change? How was coeducation accomplished in the face of such strong opposition? How well was it implemented? Nancy Weiss Malkiel explains that elite institutions embarked on coeducation not as a moral imperative but as a self-interested means of maintaining a first-rate applicant pool. She explores the challenges of planning for the academic and non-academic lives of newly admitted women, and shows how, with the exception of Mary Ingraham Bunting at Radcliffe, every decision maker leading the charge for coeducation was male.
Drawing on unprecedented archival research, “Keep the Damned Women Out” is a breathtaking work of scholarship that is certain to be the definitive book on the subject.
First published in 2018.Nancy Weiss Malkiel is professor emeritus of history at Princeton University, where she was the longest-serving dean of the college.
More about this book
- Winner of the 2017 PROSE Award in Education Practice, Association of American Publishers
- One of Times Higher Education’s Books of the Year 2017 (chosen by John Bowers)
Interview with Nancy Weiss Malkiel, author of "Keep the Damned Women Out"
Table of Contents
1 Setting the Stage: The Turbulent 1960s 3
Part I The Ivy League: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
2 Harvard-Radcliffe:“To Be Accepted by the Old and Beloved University” 31
3 Yale: “Girls Are People, Just Like You and Me” 54
4 Princeton: “Coeducation Is Inevitable” 81
5 Princeton: “A Penetrating Analysis of Far-Reaching Significance” 110
6 Yale: “Treat Yale as You Would a Good Woman” 136
7 Princeton: “The Admission of Women Will Make Princeton a Better University” 166
8 Harvard-Radcliffe: Negotiating the “Non-Merger Merger” 195
9 Princeton: “I Felt I Was in a Foreign Country” 214
10 Harvard-Radcliffe: Playing in the “Big Yard” with the Boys 245
11 Yale: Yale Is “Not Yet Coeducational” 268
12 Princeton: “We’re All Coeds Now” 288
Part II The Seven Sisters: Vassar, Smith, and Wellesley
13 Vassar: “Separate Education for Women Has No Future” 309
14 Vassar: “Vassar for Men?” 328
15 Smith: “A Looming Problem Which Is Going to Have to Be Faced” 351
16 Smith: “Recommitting to Its Original, Pioneering Purpose” 371
17 Wellesley: “Should Wellesley Jump on the Bandwagon?” 390
18 Wellesley: “Having the Courage to Remain a Women’s College” 412
Part III Revisiting the Ivies: Dartmouth
19 Dartmouth: “For God’s Sake, for Everyone’s Sake, Keep the Damned Women Out” 441
20 Dartmouth: “Our Cohogs” 464
Part IV The United Kingdom: Cambridge and Oxford
21 Cambridge: “Like Dropping a Hydrogen Bomb in the Middle of the University” 491
22 Cambridge: “A Tragic Break with Centuries of Tradition” 517
23 Oxford: “Our Crenellations Crumble, We Cannot Keep Them Out” 540
24 Oxford: As Revolutionary as “the Abolition of Celibacy among the Dons” 570
Part V Taking Stock
25 Epilogue 595
Manuscript Collections and Oral
History Transcripts: Abbreviations 611
Other Books Written by this Author(s)
- Nancy Weiss Malkiel
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