Nixon, Kissinger, Kerry and the Weathermen: How the American Peace Movement Impacted Foreign Policy During the Vietnam War, 1969-1973
Zysett, Alyssa J.
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CitationZysett, Alyssa J. 2019. Nixon, Kissinger, Kerry and the Weathermen: How the American Peace Movement Impacted Foreign Policy During the Vietnam War, 1969-1973. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe American peace movement, broken after four years of unsuccessful campaigning against an unrelenting war in Vietnam, fought through Richard Nixon’s presidency, determined to put a permanent end to U.S. involvement in the region. Despite their impact of restricting the extremes that often surfaced in Nixon’s foreign policy, the president ultimately executed his political strategy in Vietnam to protect his 1972 election bid and ensure his administration’s legacy. This resulted in four more years of bloodshed and U.S. deaths in Indochina. Through careful examination of primary sources, including the Nixon tapes, declassified White House documents, memoirs, diaries and books from both the Nixon Administration and peace activists, the evidence provided easily debunked popular history’s version of events. Along with strong secondary sources by leading historians in the field, the results are different than what Nixon fought for Americans to believe. The results of the research presented in this thesis do contribute some successes to the American peace movement in their ability to check Nixon’s power and limit his often violent and dangerous response to North Vietnam. However, the political savvy of Richard Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger created constant adjustment to their strategy to implement the policy that best suited their political goals, resulting in the continuation of the war throughout Nixon’s first term. Eventually, events involving specific peace activists and organizations motivated the president to act in a way that prematurely remove him from office.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004207