- Response to "Takin' It to the Streets Readings
- One Soldier View: Vietnam Letters
- American Politics, the Students Movements, and the New Left
Response to "Takin' It to the Streets Readings
The readings are obtained from the book "Takin' it to the streets". In this book, there is a couple of collections of documents that have been achieved from the 1960s. The collection brings together writings that play a big role of the representative ones of the events that occurred at this time of the year. Most of the documents have remained unavailable for a long period, but they were printed later. All the resources that caused the compilation of the anthology were obtained from the periodicals, pamphlets, public speeches, and personal voices from the 1960s (Williams 19).
Each reading is introduced by the notes of the editors that have highlighted the documents relevance and at the same time created a platform for relating the readings. All the documents are placed in the context of the decade to enhance the relevance. Attention is payed to the contemporary issues such as civil rights, Black Power, the counter-culture as well as the womens movements (Williams 19). Other issues include the aspects of the gay and the lesbian struggles. The civil rights movement is at the epicenter of the readings and is covered in almost each of them. This response covers two readings. The first reading is the One Soldier View: Vietnam Letters and the other one is entitled My Generation: American Politics, the Students Movements, and the New Left (Gregor 105).
One Soldier View: Vietnam Letters
To begin with the readings, One Soldier View: Vietnam Letters takes account of the experiences that the soldiers gained in Vietnam War. The example of one soldier, in this case, outlines the events he undergoes while being at the battleground. The letter is like a journal entry of all the events as they occur. He describes the life as miserable. He also gives a detailed description of the kind of life that the soldiers led. He continues describing the unfavorable environment and the kind of mistreatment that he and his counterparts encountered (Williams 116). He tells about the scary horror environment and the uncertainty of the life. The horror experienced in the battleground is insurmountable. The soldier writes about the things, to which the soldiers are subject. He says that he has lost confidence and hope in his counterparts. Moreover, his survival in the jungle was a pure luck.
It is known from the letter that he attempts to show the difference between the events that occur in the real environment and those of the battleground. He argues that most Americans have the wrong understanding of the war. The American public does not understand its long-term repercussions. No one has the slightest idea of the kind of the emptiness that the soldiers are left with after the war is over. This kind of experience continues to destroy their souls gradually. The fact that the soldiers are not supposed to talk to the civilians or even purchase anything from them implies that they are deprived of a productive social life. They lack tactical knowledge that may cause the murder of many men at the base and at the battleground. They need ample rest and the American government fails to recognize the efforts of the soldiers on the war.
American Politics, the Students Movements, and the New Left
The other reading is the American Politics, the Students Movements, and the New Left. It addresses the issues that have been experienced through the development of the movements of the students rights. Also, the text describes the roles of the students in emphasizing the flaws in the American government as well as their roles in trying to rectify the problems that have been identified. For instance, the injustices can be seen in the law system in that America had asked the African Americans to wait for almost more than a century before the country could introduce the civil bill of rights (Lieb 202). It has led to the birth of the new students movement. It began as a small group of students who were affiliated with the left students organization in the sixties.
Subsequently, there began the development of the students for a democratic senate. Later the Port Huron statement evolved to become the most popular student organization of that time. Later, the organizations became more idealistic and committed towards democracy, in which everyone would be given a chance to participate (Lieb 202).
One may look at the early years of the students lives nostalgically because they were characterized with a lot of enthusiasm. In this era, people could see the probability of achieving the democratic social changes. Although the early student movement seemed to be more homogenous than the current one, it has still played a great role in creating a foundation for mounting the social change as well as ensuring that the societal issue and the social injustices of the government, were taken into account (Lieb 204). Most importantly, it is imperative that by the time the Vietnam War had ended, students movements were already capable of executing major changes that could impact the society. The evolution of the American Politics, the Students Movements, and the New Left played a major role in the American politics of the 20th century.
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