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A Historian’s Engagement

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Abstract:

This memoir offers a microhistorical analysis of the American anti–Vietnam War movement. The author's aims in bringing this memoir of his five years as a draft counselor to the public a quarter-century after the Vietnam War's end are three. First, the scholarly goal is historical recuperation of a key ingredient of the antiwar movement that has been studied from a national, but rarely a local, perspective. Secondly, the author hopes that before his generation passes, while there are still surviving activists, his text will inspire other draft counselors to come forward and publish similar accounts, which should offer interesting regional comparisons and provide the basis for a broader national study. Finally, the author, trained as an intellectual historian, hypothesizes that his memoir may provide some empirical support for Julien Benda's claim that “history is made of shreds of justice that the intellectual has torn from the politician.”

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Vassar College

Publication date: 2000-10-01

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