Chapter

Radical Numbers

Marjorie Garber

in Loaded Words

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242047
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823242085 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823242047.003.0015
Radical Numbers

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In 2003, Drs. Sean and Judith Palfrey, the masters of Adams House at Harvard University, invited students and other concerned citizens to get involved in the debates and to reflect upon the implications for themselves and for the country. In this case, the conflict in question was the pending invasion of Iraq. On January 5, 1968, Dr. Benjamin Spock, the celebrated author of Baby and Child Care, the bible for a generation of anxious American parents, and four co-defendants were charged with conspiracy “to hinder and interfere with the administration of the Universal Military and Training Act.” In other words, they had advised young people to resist the draft. The defendants in the Spock trial became known as the Boston Five. The Boston Five, the Chicago Seven, and the New Haven Nine are radical numbers. To at least some of today's audiences and readers, these numbers will be more mysterious than revealing. Each of these was a group of radical intellectuals, or intellectual radicals, trying to make a difference.

Keywords: Judith Palfrey; Benjamin Spock; Boston Five; Chicago Seven; New Haven Nine; radical intellectuals; intellectual radicals; trial; conspiracy; Military and Training

Chapter.  2849 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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