Fraternity and Politics: Choosing One's Brothers

By Fred E. Baumann | Go to book overview

2
Fraternity and SDS

PORT HURON BEGINNINGS

In the 1960s there flourished on university campuses an organization that called itself Students for a Democratic Society, SDS for short. Emerging from the Social Democratic League for Industrial Democracy, it became the chief national organization of the so-called New Left. Breaking with its parent group over the question of openness to communists, it became the vehicle for much of the antiwar sentiment and activity of the decade, as well, toward its end, of some of the building takeovers, sit-ins, demonstrations, and in some cases overt violence on American campuses. Strongest at some of the best universities (e.g., Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, and Wisconsin), and originally led in large measure by "red diaper babies" whose parents had been radical students in the Thirties and Forties, by the end of the decade it had spread the word to a far wider audience in a much broader array of campuses. Yet SDS fell out of the political heavens with great suddenness just at that point. The reasons were various and related. SDS had split between a Maoist, old-line Marxist faction, representing the Progressive Labor Party, which sought to lead the movement into traditional proletarian channels, and a couple of factions seeking to represent the old student-based "movement." The killings at Kent State seemed to shock everyone, student radicals included, into a reali-

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Fraternity and Politics: Choosing One's Brothers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Fraternity in America 9
  • 2 - Fraternity and SDS 23
  • 3 - Fraternity and the Sans-Culottes 55
  • 4 - Fraternity-Terror": The Contribution of Jean-Paul Sartre" 89
  • 5 - Conclusion 125
  • Bibliography of Cited Sources 143
  • Index 147
  • About the Author *
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