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The New Left and the American Empire, 1962–1968

The New Left and the American Empire, 1962–1968

Chapter:
(p.52) Chapter Two The New Left and the American Empire, 1962–1968
Source:
A Hard Rain Fell
Author(s):
David Barber
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781934110171.003.0003

This chapter explores how the Students for a Democratic Society’ (SDS) came to understand the United States as an empire. It discusses how New Leftists saw in U.S. policy the outlines of a great empire protecting itself in Vietnam. Meetings with Vietnamese and Cuban revolutionaries reinforced the vision that the needs of American empire drove the Vietnam War. Meetings with Third World revolutionaries also gave New Leftists a sense of the “enemy” as profoundly human and as struggling for the positive goal of self-determination.

Keywords:   Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, Vietnam War, US policy, self-determination

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