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Class Year

2018

Abstract

Far too often, student protest movements and organizations of the 1960s and 1970s are treated as monolithic in their ideologies, goals, and membership. This paper dives into the many divides within groups like Students for a Democratic Society and Young Americans for Freedom during their heyday in the Vietnam War Era. Based on original primary source research on the “Radical Pamphlets Collection” in Musselman Library Special Collections, Gettysburg College, this study shows how these various student activist groups both overcame these differences and were torn apart by them. The paper concludes with a discussion about what made the Vietnam War Era the prime time for student activism and what factors have prevented mass student protest since then.

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