The Vietnam War, the longest in American history, changed the nature of political protest in this country forever. Now, some thirty years after America first became involved, these two titles attempt to help today's students understand the impact of a historical event that continues to affect every aspect of social culture. In Stop This War! the author draws upon her husband's experiences. His resistance to the draft and protests against the Vietnam conflict while a student at the University of Minnesota earned him a seventeen-month stint in jail. Galt highlights the unheard-of influence of the media, whose live action television news reports brought the war directly into the homes of families nationwide. She shows how civil disobedience--including nonviolent sit-ins, marches, and demonstrations--drove a deep and permanent wedge between those opposed to the war and those in favor of escalating America's involvement. McCormick's contribution covers much of the same ground, but her use of source documents gives an added dimension to the facts. Both titles include information about the violent confrontations between authority figures and pacifists, such as those witnessed during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, when police and demonstrators battled in the streets. Both authors pay tribute to an event that no member of the Baby Boom generation will ever forget--the killings at Kent State University in Ohio, in which a clash between National Guardsmen and college students resulted in the deaths of four students and wounding of nine others. Although the war officially ended with the signing of the Paris peace agreement in January of 1973, the national grieving and healingprocess continues today. Both titles include a section addressing lessons learned and the aftereffects of the war, from the geographical devastation of Vietnam itself to the financial and emotional costs of the war on American citizens. McCormick's time line will help students gain a sense of how the war evolved, concisely and effectively describing the historical events that led up to the conflict. Pairing these two titles, both of which contain poignant black-and-white photographs that document key events and people of the war, will provide students with an excellent introduction to a war that defined their parents' and grandparents' generations. NOTE: This review was written to address two books. Index. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Lerner, Ages 12 to 18, 88p, $22.60. Reviewer: Cindy Lombardo
Gr 8 Up-Galt interviewed many former conscientious objectors, including her husband, to help tell about this tumultuous period and to give insight into their motivations. She clearly explains the idea of civil disobedience, beginning with Henry Thoreau, and how his writings had an effect on the protest movement. Information is provided about the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Chicago 8, Students for a Democratic Society, the Weathermen, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon's war policies, the Kent State shootings, and many other significant events and people of that era. Small, framed black-and-white photographs are scattered throughout. This book gives readers a feeling for the divisiveness that was part of our culture at that time and provides a perspective on the Vietnam War that isn't readily available elsewhere.-Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.