Anti-War Scholar Dies at 90

( – Anti-war academic and historian H. Bruce Franklin has died at age 90. A former member of the US Air Force, Franklin vehemently opposed the Vietnam War and, in 1972, became the first tenured professor to be fired from Stanford University after he was accused of inciting students to overtake a campus computer center with ties to the US military. The professor delivered a speech at an anti-war rally protesting the US invasion of Laos, which was immediately followed by a student sit-in at the computer center, requiring 100 police officers to bring it to an end.

Franklin said American “fantasies” persuaded people to think the Vietnam War was fought for “good reasons,” but he believed it was the “most systematic destruction of a nation that any nation has ever done in history.”

Born in New York City in 1934, Mr. Franklin studied topics ranging from science fiction to marine ecology and authored 20 books and hundreds of professional articles. In 2008, he won the American Studies Association Pearson-Bode Prize for Lifetime Achievement in American Studies.

After his sacking from Stanford, Franklin was blacklisted and struggled to find work for three years, but spent this time highlighting free speech deficiencies in US academic institutions. In 1985, with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, he sued the prestigious school, seeking back pay and damages, but was unsuccessful.

A left-wing activist, Franklin co-founded the Revolutionary Union in 1968, which would later become the Revolutionary Communist Party that was infamously infiltrated by the FBI.

Three years after he departed from Stanford, Franklin was hired by Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he taught English and American studies. In 2014, he was instrumental in organizing student protests against welcoming former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a guest speaker. Activists petitioned for Rice to be disinvited in light of her role in the Iraq war and controversial prisoner interrogations carried out by the George W. Bush administration.

Copyright 2024,