This book provides an account of the University of Manchester's struggle to meet the government's demands for the rapid expansion of higher education in the 1950s and the 1960s. It looks at the University's ambitious building programme: the controversial attempts to reform its constitution and improve its communications amid demands for greater democracy in the workplace, the struggle to retain its old pre-eminence in a competitive world where new ‘green field’ universities were rivalling older civic institutions. The book tells the story, not just from the point of view of administrators and academics, but also from those of students and support staff (such as secretaries, technicians and engineers). It not only uses official records, but also student newspapers, political pamphlets and reminiscences collected through interviews.
The subject of this book is largely colonial thought and practice from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Accordingly, it engages critically with words and concepts that both were and continue to be damaging to Indigenous people and Indigenous political aspirations. Some of these words are replaced by less violent substitutes; others are quoted on the understanding that their violence is essential to the meaning intended or practised by those who initially wrote or spoke. Readers should thus be aware that this book contains language that may be hurtful.
Where I am not quoting, and when referring to Aboriginal or Indigenous people themselves, rather than to historical representations, I use capital ‘A’ or ‘I’ in accordance with modern and respectful usage.