An American Ordeal: Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution)

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9780815602446: An American Ordeal: Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution)

"An American Ordeal" is a comprehensive interpretive history that covers the anti-war movement in the USA throughout the entire Vietnam era. This study offers a narrative of the struggle that took place on the home front, even as the war itself was being waged in South-east Asia. Portraying the movement as a social force that energized people culturally yet failed to develop enduring political strength, the authors view the war as part of the long tradition of peace activism in America, as well as a process that ultimately spurred citizens to take decisive action against their government's policy. Beginning with the rise of a liberal peace movement against atmospheric nuclear testing from 1955 to 1963, the authors describe the emergence of radical pacifists and politically motivated groups who eventually created a diverse coalition against the Vietnam War. They examine how extremist elements came to dominate the movement in the late 1960s, to be supplanted by a larger consensus of liberal and pacifist groups in the early 1970s.

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From Library Journal:

A solid assessment of the American peace movement from 1955-75 and the importance of that "amorphous and pervasive social current" in American culture. Like that culture, the antiwar movement was a "diverse and dynamic enterprise that changed dramatically in its composition, assumptions and purposes." The authors assert that the movement was both cultural and political, and in that duality lay its central paradox: its cultural power compromised its political effectiveness. While the movement did not force the United States to give up the war, it "persistently identified" that choice as the central issue of American foreign policy, as well as part of the struggle over how people would define their values, institutions, and destiny. An important book, essential for all public and academic libraries. After DeBenedetti's untimely death in 1987 the book was completed by Chatfield. DeBenedetti, a long-time LJ reviewer, was also the author of The Peace Reform in American History (LJ 3/15/80) and other well-received books.--Ed.
- John R. Sillito, Weber State Coll. Lib., Ogden, Ut.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

YA-- A fascinating study of the antiwar movement. Beginning with the first stirrings in the mid-50s, many older, respected Americans--such as Norman Thomas, A. J. Muste, and Linus Pauling--joined with the young of the time (including the Berrigan brothers and Dave Dellinger) to stop nuclear testing. Other issues in society, such as black equality and the Vietnam war, modified the movement. The scope of this book is enormous, going far beyond its title. It is really a look at the political mood of the people and leaders of the 60s. The outstanding text is rivaled in its importance by the depth of the bibliographic references.

Barbara Weathers, Duchesne Academy, Houston

Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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