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His family had been moderate Republican and Methodist, but his political and religious commitments were to not to be the same.Putnam went to Swarthmore College, Philadelphia – the Quaker higher education institution known for its liberalism, commitment to social involvement and intellectual rigour. Swarthmore was the greatest intellectual influence on my life.Reports that the anti-fascist group Antifa plans to burn Confederate flags and desecrate graves have prompted calls on social media for other groups to gather in Gettysburg to counter those protesters.The anniversary of the battle, which raged from July 1 to July 3, 1863, comes at a time when there is a growing movement to remove Confederate symbols from public spaces.Graduating from Swarthmore with a bachelor of arts degree with highest honours in 1963, Robert Putnam went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford – where he spent a good deal of time with David Butler and Donald Stokes, (who were writing Political Change in Britain at the time). There he earned a master’s in 1965 and a doctorate in 1970.
Some protesters went to the battlefield in anticipation that anarchists were planning to burn Confederate flags at the site during the battle anniversary . “We make accommodations for people who want to exercise their First Amendment rights,” said Katie Lawhon, a spokeswoman for Gettysburg National Military Park. Park Police, the Pennsylvania State Police, and local law enforcement to keep order during the weekend.It was a small, highly intellectual, extremely demanding, and politically very engaged place – quite radical, in fact…I gradually moved from physics to chemistry to biology and finally majored in psychology, but in my senior year I decided I was really interested in political science….Port Clinton was ‘pretty unremarkable’ but ‘a good place in which to grow up’ according to Robert Putnam.Like many adolescents in small town America in the 1950s he found aspects of the life stifling.