Book: Memories of the Future

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Memories of the Future

Wendell Bell, professor emeritus of sociology

(Transaction Publishers)

In this memoir, Wendell Bell shares stories of his life growing up in California, serving as a navy pilot in the Second World War, attending college and graduate school after the war, becoming a sociologist and a futurist, and his 49 years at Yale.

Bell describes some of the struggles to control Yale’s future, especially during the late 1960s and 1970s: efforts within the Yale community to open Yale College to women students, to add more racial diversity to the Yale student body, to hire more women and members of minority groups on the faculty, to establish a business school, to start new programs in African-American studies and women’s studies, to increase faculty research and student learning in foreign countries, and to transform Yale from a national to a global university.

Throughout “Memories of the Future,” Bell illustrates how images of the future produce actions that, in turn, help shape the future, even though chance and circumstance, unexpected twists and turns, can enter in and sometimes create surprising results.