The University of California, Berkeley—widely known as “Cal”—is admired worldwide as a bastion of innovation and a hub for progressive thought. Far less known are the university’s roots in plunder, warfare, and the promotion of white supremacy. As Tony Platt shows in his latest book, The Scandal of Cal, these original sins sit at the center of UC Berkeley’s history.

Tony Platt is the author of thirteen books dealing with issues of inequality, power, and justice in American history. Platt, a longtime activist, is currently a Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at Cal Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law & Society.