Roundtable: Thomas Kuchel: California’s Liberal Republican Senator

October 17th
Lewis Latimer Room, Faculty Club
12:00 PM

Led by Jason Bezis, a Boalt Hall graduate who is writing a biography of Senator Thomas Kuchel

Thomas Kuchel was a liberal Republican U.S. Senator for California in the 1950s and ’60s whose career spanned the Hiram Johnson to Ronald Reagan eras. The talk will focus on the fundamental tensions in his policy work: advocating civil rights and defending his mentor Earl Warren against the John Birch Society and other reactionary forces; balancing California’s physical development with natural resources conservation; and promoting California’s Cold War military-industrial complex (the backbone of the state’s manufacturing economy) while constraining it. His paternal grandfather was among the German emigrants who founded Anaheim in Orange County. Kuchel was The Bancroft Library’s keynote speaker in 1968, the University of California’s centennial year.