cover of book
 

Free Spirit: A Biography of Mason Welch Gross
by Thomas W. Gross
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-9788-0833-1 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-0836-2
Library of Congress Classification LD4752.7.G76G76 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 378.111092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jersey, stands as a memorial to one of Rutgers University’s most influential leaders. Gross started teaching at Rutgers as an assistant professor of philosophy in 1946, but quickly rose through the ranks to become the university’s provost in 1949 and finally its president from 1959 to 1971. He led the university through an era when it experienced both some of its greatest growth and most intense controversies. 
 
Free Spirit explores how Gross helped reshape Rutgers from a sleepy college into a world-renowned public research university. It also reveals how he steered the university through the tumult of the Red Scare, civil rights era, and the Vietnam War by taking principled stands in favor of both racial equality and academic freedom. This biography tells the story of how, from an early age, Gross came to believe in the importance of doing what was right, even when the backlash took a toll on his own health.
 
Written by his youngest son Thomas, this book offers a uniquely well-rounded portrait of Gross as both a public figure and a private person. Covering everything from his service in World War II to his stints as a game-show personality, Free Spirit introduces the reader to a remarkable academic leader.

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