American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War, 1954-1975
Published by: NYU Press
298 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- ISBN: 9780814782620
- Published: June 2000
Prior to the Vietnam war, American intellectual life rested comfortably on shared assumptions and often common ideals. Intellectuals largely supported the social and economic reforms of the 1930s, the war against Hitler's Germany, and U.S. conduct during the Cold War. By the early 1960s, a liberal intellectual consensus existed.
The war in Southeast Asia shattered this fragile coalition, which promptly dissolved into numerous camps, each of which questioned American institutions, values, and ideals. Robert R. Tomes sheds new light on the demise of Cold War liberalism and the development of the New Left, and the steady growth of a conservatism that used Vietnam, and anti-war sentiment, as a rallying point. Importantly, Tomes provides new evidence that neoconservatism retreated from internationalism due largely to Vietnam, only to regroup later with substantially diminished goals and expectations.
Covering vast archival terrain, Apocalypse Then stands as the definitive account of the impact of the Vietnam war on American intellectual life.
"Interesting and thought-provoking . . . a lively account." ~The Journal of Military History
"A welcome addition . . . Valuable not only for its documentation of changing ideas, but also because it reveals broad intellectual contours. . . . Anyone who seeks to understand the passion of intellectuals about the war as well as its impact on American political and social ideas will want to read this book." ~Choice
"In this work of prodigious scholarship, Robert Tomes has illuminated both the intellectual contours of this country's Vietnam trauma and the even larger story of the breakdown of the liberal consensus after 1960. An extremely valuable contribution." ~David Levy,author of The Debate Over Vietnam
"This is more than just another book about the Vietnam War: Robert R. Tomes offers an intellectual history of the war on the home front. . . . Constitutes a superb start for cultural and intellectual historians interested in the reception of the war on the home front." ~The Journal of American History
"Traditional intellectual history at its finest. . . . a comfortable, logical, uncontroversial book that is likely to remain a standard work for a long time." ~H-Net