Campus Wars

The Peace Movement At American State Universities in the Vietnam Era

366 pages

May, 1994

ISBN: 9780814735121

Subjects:

History

Author

Kenneth J. Heineman is Professor of History and Department Chair at Angelo State University.  He is the author of Campus Wars: The Peace Movement At American State Universities in the Vietnam Era (NYU Press, 1992), God Is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America (NYU Press, 1998), A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh, and Put Your Bodies Upon The Wheels: Student Revolt in the 1960s.

All books by Kenneth J. Heineman

"At the same time that the dangerous war was being fought in the jungles of Vietnam, Campus Wars were being fought in the United States by antiwar protesters. Kenneth J. Heineman found that the campus peace campaign was first spurred at state universities rather than at the big-name colleges. His useful book examines the outside forces, like military contracts and local communities, that led to antiwar protests on campus."
—Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times

"Shedding light on the drastic change in the social and cultural roles of campus life, Campus Wars looks at the way in which the campus peace campaign took hold and became a national movement."
History Today

"Heineman's prodigious research in a variety of sources allows him to deal with matters of class, gender, and religion, as well as ideology. He convincingly demonstrates that, just as state universities represented the heartland of America, so their student protest movements illustrated the real depth of the anguish over US involvement in Vietnam. Highly recommended."
Choice

"Represents an enormous amount of labor and fills many gaps in our knowledge of the anti-war movement and the student left."
—Irwin Unger, author of These United States

The 1960s left us with some striking images of American universities: Berkeley activists orating about free speech atop a surrounded police car; Harvard SDSers waylaying then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; Columbia student radicals occupying campus buildings; and black militant Cornell students brandishing rifles, to name just a few. Tellingly, the most powerful and notorious image of campus protest is that of a teenage runaway, arms outstretched in anguish, kneeling beside the bloodied corpse of Jeff Miller at Kent State University.

While much attention has been paid to the role of elite schools in fomenting student radicalism, it was actually at state institutions, such as Kent State, Michigan State, SUNY, and Penn State, where anti-Vietnam war protest blossomed. Kenneth Heineman has pored over dozens of student newspapers, government documents, and personal archives, interviewed scores of activists, and attended activist reunions in an effort to recreate the origins of this historic movement. In Campus Wars, he presents his findings, examining the involvement of state universities in military research — and the attitudes of students, faculty, clergy, and administrators thereto — and the manner in which the campus peace campaign took hold and spread to become a national movement. Recreating watershed moments in dramatic narrative fashion, this engaging book is both a revisionist history and an important addition to the chronicle of the Vietnam War era.