Friend or Foe? --- The War Resisters League (WRL) and the War in Vietnam during the 'Long Sixties'

Zuber, Felix, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Hitchcock, William, University of Virginia

During the 1960s a variety of popular movements in the United States sought social change in different areas. The escalating war in Vietnam served as a point of contact between many of these activists. Scholars have explored the complex links between the Civil Rights Movement and the peace movement at length, often concluding that cooperation between the two on an institutional level remained superficial. This thesis focuses on the War Resisters League (WRL), a group of radical pacifists, and their links to other social movements during this turbulent decade. The WRL was inherently transnational and part of a vibrant network of activist groups that were concerned with a number of issues, from nuclear proliferation, to resistance against war, to civil rights, within and without U.S. borders. However, even the WRL’s transnational connections, and its history of cooperation with the Civil Rights Movement before the ‘Long Sixties,’ did not result in a substantial alliance with the Civil Rights Movement.

MA (Master of Arts)
War Resisters League (WRL), Radical Pacifism, Transnational History
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