Before moving directly to discussion of the fall of Saigon in 1975, Chapters 6, 7, and 8 offer thematic perspectives on the war up until the Paris Agreement of 1973. The current chapter focuses on the nature and significance of the antiwar movement. Here, we consider the movement, as such — direct protest against American policy in Vietnam, rather than the mainstream electoral and congressional initiatives discussed at points in Chapters 4 and 5. Following a brief invocative picture of the movement, we will discuss the role of Tom Hayden, central figure in the student-led American New Left and in the protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic Party national convention in Chicago. We proceed then to consideration of the chronological development and structure of the antiwar movement, emphasizing its internal divisions and conflicting positions over strategy and purpose. Our main concern is with the American movement, which led global antiwar protest and which plausibly had a major, substantive impact on the course of the war. Both orthodox and revisionist writing tends to give considerable prominence to US antiwar protest, seeing it as having influence over policy-makers, as shutting off war options, and even as affecting the conduct of the war on the ground.
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