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Carr, Robert K. (1908–1979)

CARR, ROBERT K. (1908–1979)

Robert Kenneth Carr was an educator and political scientist; he taught at Dartmouth College (1937–1959) and was president of Oberlin College (1960–1970). In 1947 Carr served as Executive Secretary of the President's Committee on Civil Rights appointed by harry s. truman and played a leading role in framing its report, To Secure These Rights (1947); this report's detailed presentation of the legal and social disabilities imposed on America's black population sparked nationwide controversy. Carr's own book on the subject, Federal Protection of Civil Rights: Quest for a Sword (1947), set forth the history of federal civil rights laws and their enforcement and demonstrated their inadequacy in theory and practice. In The House Committee on Un-American Activities, 1946–1950 (1952), Carr argued that the carelessness and irresponsibility displayed by members and staff of the house committee on unamerican activities outweighed the benefits of alerting the public to the dangers posed by communism at home and abroad; he concluded that the committee's record argued strongly for its own abolition. Carr also wrote two books on the Supreme Court for general readers, Democracy and the Supreme Court (1936) and The Supreme Court and Judicial Review (1942), and several other books on education and American government.

Richard B. Berstein

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