The Scandal of Cal: Land Grabs, White Supremacy, and Miseducation at Uc Berkeley

Product Details
$30.00  $27.90
Heyday Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 9.0 X 1.1 inches | 1.32 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author

Tony Platt is the author of more than ten books on race, inequality, and social justice in American history, among them Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States, The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency, and Grave Matters: The Controversy over Excavating California's Buried Indigenous Past. Platt, now a professor emeritus, taught at the University of Chicago, UC Berkeley, and CSU Sacramento, where he received awards for teaching and scholarship. Platt has written for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, History News Network, Monthly Review, and the Guardian, and his commentaries have aired on NPR. His publications have been translated into four languages. Platt lives in Berkeley and Big Lagoon, California.


Praise for The Scandal of Cal:

"A profound alternate institutional history, one that sees the long arm of institutional racism implicated everywhere." --Publishers Weekly

"For former UC Berkeley Assistant Professor Tony Platt [...] dismantling notions of the campus's allegedly incurable liberalism is his current life's work. Platt taught criminology at Berkeley in the 1970s; now semi-retired after a long academic career, his book, The Scandal of Cal, is a counter-history of the school that questions its reputation as a bastion of progressive politics." --Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle

"With the turn of each page, the Berkeley-based writer lays out the facts, figures and atrocities committed by the university as it took the homelands and remains of Native Americans in the United States and Indigenous people in other countries. [...] A bubbling sense of outrage begins a hard boil as Tony Platt rolls out the narrative of Cal's juxtapositional posturing and shameless self-promotion of its origins as rosy and its historical footprint as that of an innovative, progressive institution." --East Bay Express

"UC Berkeley trumpets itself as the nation's leading public university, home to the Free Speech and other social justice movements, as an engine of innovation, and as a bastion of academic inquiry and excellence. Yet, Platt writes, it refuses to honestly reckon with the dark parts of its past, a history that involves colonialism, plunder, grave-robbing, the promotion of white supremacy and modern atomic warfare. [...] Platt is convincing in showing the university's missteps from its founding to the present day." --Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside

"Academic and researcher Tony Platt has long been an advocate for Native interests in the repatriation process. [...] The Berkeley administration reports that remains of over 9,000 individuals still lie in their collections. Platt believes the actual numbers may be significantly higher, as many as 20,000. His review of the records found 'shaky math, selective data, arbitrary definitions and unknown unknowns, ' as he writes in The Scandal of Cal." --Truthout

"[The Scandal of Cal] makes the case that the school has often failed to live up to its ennobling hype, or at least neglected to recognize its sins. [...] Platt's larger point, and it's a good one, is that Cal, as the university is colloquially known, largely chooses to ignore its significant blemishes." --Chris Vognar, San Francisco Chronicle Datebook

"The Scandal of Cal is a rich and rightly disturbing addition to the emerging literature of the sordid side of the history of the West. It takes its place beside Benjamin Madley's An American Genocide and Raphael Folsom's The Yaquis and the Empire. Platt's scholarly and moving volume may well nudge the overlords of Berkeley to begin the slouch toward their atonement." --John Briscoe, Distinguished Fellow, UC Berkeley Law School, recipient of the Oscar Lewis Award in Western History

"Many have written of the horrors of genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of Northern California, but none as affecting as Tony Platt's drilling under the surface of the esteemed University of California, Berkeley, an institution he knows well. The Scandal of Cal is a template for scrutinizing other land-grant universities with their pasts of land grabs and white supremacy. This is a beautifully written and heartbreaking narrative." --Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

"An important addition to ongoing calls for social, political, and epistemic justice for Native peoples in California and beyond, The Scandal of Cal reminds us that a historical narrative which honors Native American resistance and sovereignty helps us to envision decolonized futures." --Cutcha Risling Baldy, Chair of Native American Studies, Cal Poly Humboldt, author of We Are Dancing for You: Native Feminisms and the Revitalization of Women's Coming-of-Age Ceremonies

"Writing with prosecutorial fervor, Tony Platt marshals extensive research and six decades of personal experience to charge the University of California, Berkeley, with moral errors of deep significance--sins of both commission and omission." --Benjamin Madley, author of An American Genocide: The United States and The California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873

"Platt peels back the facade of an institution that professes a commitment to social justice and shrouds itself in a legacy of student activism. His central argument is broadly applicable across academia." --Damon B. Akins, coauthor of We Are the Land: A History of Native California

"This is a land acknowledgment." --Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Abolition Geography: Essays towards Liberation