Allard Lowenstein (1929-1980)

Allard Lowenstein (1929-1980)

When I was teaching for a few years at Stanford in the early ’60s, that excellent university was as politically dormant as American universities were then supposed to be. Perhaps the first political meeting held on campus in some years was organized after the Birmingham outrages (the
killings of several black children by bombers). We organized a protest meeting. The meeting’s sponsors, nice inexperienced California boys and
girls, were worried—with good reason—whether anyone would show up until one of them said, “Lowenstein will bring his crowd.” Who was this Lowenstein? Some sort of assistant dean in, I think, the law school who had gathered about him a group of left-liberal students. The meeting was held, successfully, and Lowenstein “brought his crowd.” That was my first encounter with Al, and we soon became friends.

Afterward, over the years, whenever there was a good cause, Lowenstein brought his crowd. Far more often a loser than a winner in his electoral campaigns, he still left his mark. A whole generation of young people swore by him.

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Lima