Introduction: The Open Hand and the University
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The singular word “Vietnam” evokes far-ranging and emotionally charged meanings for many Americans. It signifies a nation, a war, and for many, a historical marker for an era of cultural revolt. Dramatic campus conflicts, after all, provided much of the imagery for our current representations of the antiwar movement. However, many campus protests remain largely un-documented. Hundreds of campuses experienced unrest following the Kent State killings, but few, if any, collected oral histories immediately afterward. Several universities across the country have oral history collections that include chronicles of the Vietnam era, and many focus on the impact of Kent State. Books on the Vietnam era have increasingly found widespread appeal, as the Sixties generation reflects on its accomplishments, failures, and legacies. Some books have used oral history to chronicle the American experience of the 1960s, the views of conscientious objectors, and antiwar testimony representing diverse demographic groups, but few of the small-campus protests have been adequately documented.1
KeywordsAcademic Freedom Black Student Oral History Conscientious Objector Oral History Interview
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