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Sir Moses Finley

Richard P. McCormick


Finley was an instructor and assistant professor in the history department at Rutgers-Newark from 1948 to 1952. He then went on to Cambridge University for a brilliant career as a classics scholar until his death in 1986. What makes his tenure at Rutgers significant is that he was dismissed by the Board of Trustees in 1952 because he refused to answer questions before the U. S. Senate Internal Security Committee on grounds of the Fifth Amendment. As a suspected communist, he was fired, deemed unfit to teach by the Board of Trustees. It was one of the most famous cases of attacks on academic freedom during the McCarthy era. This article is an edited version of an address given by McCormick (who had defended Finley before the Trustees) at Finley’s memorial service in the Kirkpatrick Chapel on November 8, 1986.

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