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Get Apocalypse Then: American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War, PDF

By Robert R. Tomes

ISBN-10: 0814782345

ISBN-13: 9780814782347

Prior to the Vietnam conflict, American highbrow existence rested with ease on shared assumptions and sometimes universal beliefs. Intellectuals mostly supported the social and monetary reforms of the Nineteen Thirties, the conflict opposed to Hitler's Germany, and U.S. behavior in the course of the chilly struggle. via the early Sixties, a liberal highbrow consensus existed.

The battle in Southeast Asia shattered this fragile coalition, which in a timely fashion dissolved into a number of camps, every one of which puzzled American associations, values, and beliefs. Robert R. Tomes sheds new gentle at the death of chilly conflict liberalism and the improvement of the hot Left, and the regular development of a conservatism that used Vietnam, and anti-war sentiment, as a rallying element. Importantly, Tomes presents new facts that neoconservatism retreated from internationalism due principally to Vietnam, purely to regroup later with considerably decreased objectives and expectations.

Covering giant archival terrain, Apocalypse Then stands because the definitive account of the influence of the Vietnam struggle on American highbrow lifestyles.

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Williams was most attuned to traditional Marxist methodology, focusing primarily on the history of American foreign policy, especially during the 1890s and early 1900s. Williams wrote a pseudo-Leninistic interpretation of imperialism and neocolonialism, following the stages of the capitalist development model. In an innovative and undogmatic way, Williams assigned economic causality to groups generally worshiped by the American intellectual left. For example, he claimed that farmers were often the bad guys who wanted to dump their surplus products on foreign markets.

Its preface invited philosophers to come from behind the walls of academia into the world of intellectual action. As a young man in the 1930s, Barrett had been a Marxist, but not a Communist Party member. By the 1950s, however, he was well into the liberal phase of his career. Barrett later moved to the political right, becoming permanently convinced of the perniciousness of Soviet totalitarianism. In the literary arts, once again the individual was the main focus of attention in the post–World War II period.

It is interesting to note that even Buckley’s book McCarthy and His Enemies35 was moderate in tone, and defended the trials primarily on theoretical grounds. Of course, liberal critics quickly came to despise both Buckley and his book. The truth is that conservative intellectuals considered right-wing activities and organizations such as the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan an embarrassment and a liability, and disdained their methods nearly as vehemently as liberal opponents. Intellectual conservatism was not a coherent doctrine or philosophy during the 1950s.

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Apocalypse Then: American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War, 1954-1975 by Robert R. Tomes


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