Kent State: An American Tragedy

Brian VanDeMark

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


A definitive history of the fatal clash between Vietnam War protestors and the National Guard, illuminating its causes and lasting consequences.

On May 4, 1970, at Kent State University in Ohio, political crosscurrents that had been building in America during the 1960s reached critical mass. Anti-war protestors sporting bell-bottomed pants and long hair hurled taunts and rocks at another group of young Americans—National Guardsmen wearing gas masks and rifles. At half past noon, violence unfolded with chaotic speed, as Guardsmen—many of whom had joined the Guard to escape the draft—opened fire on the students. Two reductive narratives emerged: one, that lethal state violence was aimed at Americans who spoke their minds; the other, that law enforcement gave troublemakers the comeuppance they deserved. For over 50 years, little middle ground has been found due to incomplete and contradictory evidence.

In Kent State, historian Brian VanDeMark draws on crucial new research and interviews—including, for the first time, the perspective of the Guardsmen who were there that day—for a complete reckoning with the tragedy that bookended the ’60s.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



student protest, state violence, massacre, vietnam war history, students for a democratic society, sds history, 1970s history, shooting, school shooting