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Turning the Tide, Turning the Tide, 0817318143, 0-8173-1814-3, 978-0-8173-1814-7, 9780817318147, , , Turning the Tide, 0817387250, 0-8173-8725-0, 978-0-8173-8725-9, 9780817387259, , , Turning the Tide, 0817358587, 0-8173-5858-7, 978-0-8173-5858-7, 9780817358587,

Turning the Tide
The University of Alabama in the 1960s
by Earl H. Tilford

Trade Cloth
2014. 272 pp.
27 B&W illustrations
978-0-8173-1814-7
Price:  $49.95 s
E Book
2013. 272 pp.
27 B&W illustrations
978-0-8173-8725-9
Price:  $34.95 d
Quality Paper
2016. 272 pp.
27 B&W illustrations
978-0-8173-5858-7
Price:  $34.95 s

Turning the Tide is an institutional and cultural history of a dramatic decade of change at the University of Alabama set against the backdrop of desegregation, the continuing civil rights struggle, and the growing antiwar movement.

This book documents the period when a handful of University of Alabama student activists formed an alliance with President Frank A. Rose, his staff, and a small group of progressive-minded professors in order to transform the university during a time of social and political turmoil. Together they engaged in a struggle against Governor George Wallace and a state legislature that reflected the worst aspects of racism in a state where the passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965 did little to reduce segregation and much to inflame the fears and passions of many white Alabamians.

Earl H. Tilford details the origins of the student movement from within the Student Government Association, whose leaders included Ralph Knowles and future governor Don Siegelman, among others; the participation of key members of “The Machine,” the political faction made up of the powerful fraternities and sororities on campus; and the efforts of more radical non-Greek students like Jack Drake, Ed Still, and Sondra Nesmith. Tilford also details the political maneuverings that drove the cause of social change through multiple administrations at the university. Turning the Tide highlights the contributions of university presidents Frank A. Rose and David Mathews, as well as administrators like the dean of men John L. Blackburn, who supported the student leaders but also encouraged them to work within the system rather than against it.

Based on archival research, interviews with many of the principal participants, and the author’s personal experiences, Tilford’s Turning the Tide is a compelling portrait of a university in transition during the turbulence surrounding the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

Earl H. Tilford is the author of Crosswinds: The Air Force’s Setup in Vietnam and Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia: USAF in Southeast Asia, and coeditor of The Eagle in the Desert: Looking Back on the United States Involvement in the Persian Gulf War.

“Earl Tilford’s carefully researched and beautifully written account of the university during a time of transition and turmoil is a must read for Alabama alumni of any era.” —Dag Rowe, Class of 1969

"This is not the last word on Bama in the '60s, before cellphones, texting and the need for a 4.0 to get into law school retranquilized the student body, but for those who were there and for those who wish they were, it is required reading." —The Tuscaloosa News

"Tilford’s is a balanced, thoughtful, indeed, objective assessment of that era. His ability to keep the story flowing into the transitional 1970s without advocacy or rancor, but with factual assessment, makes this a valuable book not only for alumni, but for those who want to see how a major institution changed into what it is today." —The Decatur Daily

“The way Tilford weaves in social phenomena like fraternities, beauty pageants, football, and other student activities will find a ready audience among students of that era. The book will also appeal to the aging baby boomer population now looking back on that formative period of their lives, the 1960s. This book is a real page-turner.” —John David Briley, author of Career in Crisis: Paul “Bear” Bryant and the 1971 Season of Change

Turning the Tide is essential reading for anyone who ever worked for, attended, or has been a fan or supporter of the University of Alabama. Then, too, anyone interested in the way changes in higher education foretold changes in contemporary society during the tumultuous 1960s will be fascinated by this book.”  —Roger Sayers, former president of the University of Alabama

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