David Gross's Reviews > Direct Action: Radical Pacifism from the Union Eight to the Chicago Seven

Direct Action by James    Tracy
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Jun 12, 07

bookshelves: political-theory, direct-action, non-fiction
Read in January, 2004

A small, dedicated core of activists in the United States broke from the Marxist “old left” in the 1940s to explore a brand of activism influenced by Christian anti-war traditions, the non-violent confrontation techniques of Gandhi, and American contrarian individualist thinking along the lines of Thoreau.

This group of activists was forged in the camps for conscientious objectors that were run by America’s traditional peace churches as part of a compromise during World War II, they survived the McCarthyist 1950s in part due to their principled distancing from authoritarian communism, and they came to play decisive roles in shaping the form of the civil rights movement and the movements against the Vietnam War and the nuclear arms race.
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