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Brochure, “Can We Stand Idly By?”
Dwight Macdonald Papers. Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University.

Anna Gorovoy ’09, Dwight Macdonald and the Vietnam War

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Macdonald corresponded with many political action groups endorsing, remaining abreast of, and participating in the variety of methods employed to actively resist the war. Although some methods were relatively more passive than others, overall the breadth of actions taken against the war, as documented by these materials, show a real commitment to bringing about its end as well as demonstrating to those in power that the intellectual community would not stand for what they saw as the “criminal policy of the U.S government.”

This brochure, exemplifying opposition to the war through support for draft resistance, posits draft resistance as a refusal on the part of each soldier “to obey what he considers to be immoral orders.” It urges communities to lend their support to the draft resisters using a variety of outlined methods, rather than “stand[ing] idly by” while young men face the consequences of their defiant actions. Macdonald was a strong supporter of draft resistance, publicly encouraging young men to defy the draft.