The Forty Years War
6 November, 2008
By Bryan Lower
How 1968 and 2008 are alike, and how they are not.
In the late 1960s, the United States was engaged in an unpopular and confusing war. The country was divided over race and Vietnam (though Paul Krugman contends that we were less divided by class in the 1950s and 60s than ever before). President Lyndon Johnson’s prosecution of the Vietnam War led to a growing unpopularity in his own party. As the presidential primaries grew near, his staff was surprised by the challenge of Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota. A “dump Johnson” insurgency in the Democratic Party derailed any of Johnson’s hopes of reelection.
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