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Dwight Macdonald, Statement, August 12, 1965.
Dwight Macdonald Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Anna Gorovoy 09, Dwight Macdonald and the Vietnam War

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Dwight Macdonald (1906-1982), a prolific critic of politics, society, and culture, played an active role in the 1960s opposing the Vietnam War. As demonstrated by these materials retained in his personal papers, he and other like-minded intellectuals did not limit themselves to indulging in passive criticism, but took vigorous action in support of their beliefs.

Macdonald read this statement on August 12, 1965, at an unofficial hearing called by Rep. William Fitts Ryan, a Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York, in response to heightened U.S. involvement in Vietnam. This draft introduces the opposition of the intellectual community to the war. Macdonald states that as an American, he is ashamed of the war in Vietnam, outlining his reasons for opposition. He writes that the government’s policies have split the American populace “between a disapproving minority—the liberal intelligentsia of teachers, students, and writers—and a majority that approves, actively or passively.”