Re: [sixties-l] Todd Gitlin on the war (fwd)

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (
Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 02:03:25 EST

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    Since Gitlin some time ago was anointed by the mainstream media as a
    spokesperson for the movement of the 60s, I thought it useful to trace
    the path he took to arrive at that position. To suggest that his
    analysis requires a scholarly evaluation is to give it more credit than
    it's due. Sometime ago I did pick apart his statement that the left in
    the 60s made a mistake by not supporting Hubert Humphrey against Richard
    Nixon in 1968. If Gitlin was actually capable of serious analysis he
    would have realized that had the movement in the 60s been willing to
    support a hawk like Humphrey, Humphrey would not have been the

    The only reason that he was on the ballot was that LBJ had become afraid
    of the movement to the extent that he was afraid of being assassinated
    in Chicago in 68. If the movement had not been as strong as it was or
    was perceived to be by Johnson at the time, he would have run for
    re-election. Presumably Gitlin's reply to that would be that, in that
    case, we should have supported LBJ.

    There are some things that Gitlin has written with which I agree but the
    intellectual foundation from which he arrives at his conclusions was
    corrupted long ago.

    Jeff Blankfort

       From: Mark Bunster <>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Todd Gitlin on the war (fwd)
    > - --- monkerud <> wrote:
    > > I have to agree with Jeff, particularily to the extent, "who cares?"
    > > Gitlin hasn't had any influence in the left since about 1971... I saw
    > > him around that time in San Francisco for an evening and he had had
    > > an emotional breakdown because he had become isolated from the
    > > movement. Does anyone take him seriously anymore, or did they ever?
    > >
    > > best, Don
    > It seems odd to me that both Don and Jeff are more interested in determining
    > whether Gitlin is a "part of the movement," than they are in evaluating his
    > analysis. Does his "influence in the left" have any bearing on the truth to his
    > arguments?
    > M

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