Allies and Rivals is the first history of the ascent of American higher education told through the lens of German-American exchange. In a series of compelling portraits of such leaders as Wilhelm von Humboldt, Martha Carey Thomas, and W.E.B. Du Bois, Emily J. Levine shows how academic innovators on both sides of the Atlantic competed and collaborated to shape the research university. More…

Levine’s close historical comparison of the origins of the university in Germany and the United States is full of rich detail that ultimately offers a powerful and prescient warning from the past about the possibilities of the present.

Cynthia Miller-Idriss, American University

In another breakthrough study, Levine reconstructs the transatlantic history of how higher learning became associated with the now-familiar institutional setting of the research university—a history with great relevance to our own need to reimagine education for a new era.

Samuel Moyn, Yale University

Allies and Rivals is a beautifully researched and written exploration of the modern research university.… Levine has contributed a pathbreaking study of ideas, institutions, and international affairs—an extraordinary and riveting story.

Michael Kimmage, The Catholic University of America

Anyone interested in the bargain with the state and society would benefit from reading Allies and Rivals to understand where we are today, how we got here, and how the relationship between higher education, the state, and society more broadly must and can benefit all three.

Catharine B. Hill, senior trustee of Yale University and former president of Vassar College

In her meticulously researched, sweeping tale of the modern research university, Levine shows how American higher education was inspired by the University of Berlin, and how this model was transformed on American soil, in constant competition with Germany, into the educational landscape we have in the United States today.

Sophie Duvernoy, Los Angeles Review of Books

Best higher education book of the year … and may be the best history of higher education of any type in the last decade. It is, quite simply, genius....

Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates
Katya Mizrahi Photography

Emily J. Levine is the author of Allies and Rivals: German-American Exchange and the Rise of the Modern Research University (University of Chicago Press, 2021). Her previous book, Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School (University of Chicago Press, 2013), was awarded the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize by the American Historical Association. More…