Download Apocalypse Then: American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War, by Robert R. Tomes PDF

By Robert R. Tomes

Prior to the Vietnam struggle, American highbrow lifestyles rested very easily on shared assumptions and infrequently universal beliefs. Intellectuals principally supported the social and monetary reforms of the Nineteen Thirties, the warfare opposed to Hitler's Germany, and U.S. behavior through the chilly warfare. through the early Nineteen Sixties, a liberal highbrow consensus existed.

The conflict in Southeast Asia shattered this fragile coalition, which briskly dissolved into quite a few camps, each one of which wondered American associations, values, and beliefs. Robert R. Tomes sheds new mild at the loss of life of chilly struggle liberalism and the advance of the recent Left, and the regular progress of a conservatism that used Vietnam, and anti-war sentiment, as a rallying aspect. Importantly, Tomes presents new facts that neoconservatism retreated from internationalism due principally to Vietnam, simply to regroup later with considerably reduced targets and expectations.

Covering enormous archival terrain, Apocalypse Then stands because the definitive account of the impression of the Vietnam battle on American highbrow lifestyles.

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Extra info for Apocalypse Then: American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War, 1954-1975

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29 Religious thinkers often marched in step with the liberal beat by concentrating on themes of individual freedom and social responsibility of the individual. Although the individual remained central to their systems of theology, themes of political, moral, and social commitment were seen as intrinsically related. The religious revival of the 1950s featured many urban intellectuals and was often tied to the established churches. It was also open to a wide variety of European influences, among them the works of Paul Tillich, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jacques Maritain, Gabriel Marcel, and Karl Jaspers.

They are loosely defined cleavages, reflecting common tendencies rather than specific intellectual platforms. A great deal of diversity was present in each. For example, Buckley and Russell Kirk would both be classified as traditionalists in Nash’s system, although their writings were as different as their backgrounds. 40 Buckley’s conservatism was of an entirely different origin and conceptual background. Consider the following contrasts between the two men: Kirk, born and raised in the South, always retained a reverence for the antebellum period, while Buckley, a Northeasterner, graduated from Yale.

The liberals had done poorly, and their chief offenses included tolerance of international communism, specifically of the aggressive Soviet menace; encouragement of big government, which meddled with the economy and other areas of life conservatives felt were better left alone; and the absence of positive traditional ideals like religious values, cohesive social order, and respect for authority. Conservatism’s internal contradictions provided an additional obstacle to its popularity among intellectuals.

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