Chapter

Public Opinion and War: A Historical Perspective

in In Time of War

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226043586
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226043463 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226043463.003.0002
Public Opinion and War: A Historical Perspective

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The era of public opinion polling began in the 1930s and has spanned wars great and small. Focusing on the period from 1950 to the present, this chapter provides an overview of the different wars the United States has fought since the beginning of the Cold War and a picture of the broad outlines of public support for those wars. In particular, it examines public opinion regarding the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the wars waged in Afghanistan and Iraq in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. By expanding our historical reach to include the most important war of the twentieth century, it is possible to draw broad conclusions about the roots of public attitudes toward foreign policy more generally.

Keywords: wars; public opinion; United States; Persian Gulf War; Korean War; Vietnam War; foreign policy; Afghanistan; Iraq; terrorist attacks

Chapter.  7469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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