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The American LeftIts Impact on Politics and Society since 1900$
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Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748668878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748668878.001.0001

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The New Left Shares the Credit

The New Left Shares the Credit

(p.119) Chapter 8 The New Left Shares the Credit
The American Left

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

Edinburgh University Press

The New Left and its conservative opponents agree that the New Left caused American withdrawal from the Vietnam War, and, although there were other causes, there is some truth in the contention. The chapter looks at the New Left’s provenance, its rejection of Marxism and organized labor, and its embrace of radical students. It reviews other left manifestations in the 1960s, such as Michael Harrington’s attack on poverty, Martin Luther King’s commitment, as a declared socialist, to the same cause, and the feminist epistle Feminine Mystique (1963), whose author Betty Friedan eradicated all signs of her socialist past in order to soften the appeal of the feminist cause. There was sympathy for some left-wing goals in Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House and even in Richard Nixon’s, but the Southeast Asian war sucked away the necessary funds.

Keywords:   Betty Friedan, labor, Marxism, New Left, poverty, students, Vietnam War

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