Lipset, Seymour M.
April 1971
Foreign Affairs;Apr1971, Vol. 49 Issue 3, p548
This paper analyzes the results of several U.S. polls which show the increasing opposition of U.S. college students to the Vietnam War and the concomitant growth in radical-left sentiments among them have not involved the total young adult age group. The paper begins by concentrating on the development of student opinion on the Vietnam war. Surveys showed that the majority of students supported the war until 1968. Not until June of that year did a Gallup Poll indicate that the proportion of students who thought the U.S. had made a mistake in becoming involved in Vietnam had reached 50 percent. The reaction against the May 1970 Cambodian incursion produced the largest and most extensive student protest movement the U.S. has ever experienced. All the survey data document the increased extent of student participation, as well as the fact that student attitudes in general moved to the Left, not only with respect to the war, but on other issues as well. The author notes that when examining the results of various national surveys of students from 1965 to 1970, it is difficult to come to any definitive conclusions concerning the depth and enduring quality of their discontent and its portent for continued tension with the government.


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