Chapter

Rebellion from Within

in Richard Hofstadter

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780226076409
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226076379 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226076379.003.0008
Rebellion from Within

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This chapter discusses the views of Richard Hofstadter on the Vietnam War. The turbulent mix of civil rights activism, Vietnam, and student protests was a source of great hope and great anguish in the 1960s. It also challenged the liberal stewardship of the state. The war was a disaster, Hofstadter wrote to Harvey Swados on Christmas Day in 1965, and nothing since Pearl Harbor, he continued, filled him with such a profound sense of foreboding and helplessness. Vietnam undermined confidence in the government, cut deeply into Johnson's Great Society programs, and exasperated existing social tensions. Hofstadter called for a sober reevaluation of American power as the nation entered into an unfamiliar age of limitations. No longer could it afford to seek military solutions to political or ideological crises, press for the total destruction of international communism, or expect to neatly solve the problems facing the free world. This chapter also discusses in detail the problems faced by Columbia University due to the student movement.

Keywords: civil rights; Vietnam War; Columbia University; communism; movement; activism

Chapter.  10415 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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