William F. Marina as Teacher and Historian: Some Early Impressions
By Joseph R. Stromberg
This article appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of The Independent Review
Bill Marina (19362009) incorporated libertarian themes into an analysis of U.S. foreign policy that drew on the revisionist history of William Appleman Williams and the insurgent sociology of C. Wright Mills. The result was an eclectic critique of imperialism and defense of decentralization, along with erudite musings about Chinas dynasties, Floridas corporate syndicalism, and the peoples war known as the American Revolution.
When I set off for Florida Atlantic University (FAU) at Boca Raton in late August 1968, it was a time of divisive political and social issuesa systemic crisis of legitimacysymbolized by the Vietnam War, the civil rights revolution, the New Left, Students for a Democratic Society, the counterculture, and much else. It was, in other words, the 60s. FAU (informally known to its first few classes as Find Another University) was a new school, not fully formed, although showing some signs of wishing to settle into the bureaucratic Cold War liberal mode of Clark Kerrs multiversity. Its early lack of rigid form made the place interesting for a while. Unimpressed by the behaviorist political scientists with whom I had spoken, I settled on history as a major. Once in classes, I found Dr. William F. Marina by far the most interesting teacher.
As we gradually learned, Bill was locala native of Miami who had earned his B.A. at the University of Miami. His Ph.D. (just completed) was in American studies at the University of Denver (1968). He had taught at the University of Texas at Arlington from 1962 to 1964 before coming to FAU, where he remained until his retirement in 2003. While teaching in Texas, he had witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For many years, Bill gave an occasional seminar on...
Volume 15 Number 4
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