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Blog Post 11/16

In Zinn’s latest chapter of A People’s History of the United States, Zinn tells the story of the anti-nuclear movement that began in response to the arms race between the United States and the USSR. In this chapter Zinn once again displays how despite our country being supposedly for the people, our leaders often push the populations’ opinion to the wayside. In this case, a vast majority of the US wanted nothing to do with the Cold War and the possibility of nuclear warfare. In fact, hundreds of colleges had meetings discussing this issue along with the largest protest in the history of our country. Despite all of this, President Reagen still went against their best wishes.

Much of the information I read throughout this chapter was new to me. Of course, I had learned about the Cold War and the threat of a possible nuclear fallout, but never anything about the mass disapproval Reagen and presidents before him received for promoting it. It seems that this pattern of the population’s opinion is taken as a grain of salt by its leaders is a common theme throughout our nation’s history and even today. I can’t help but wonder why we are not taught about these moments in greater detail in hopes to regain a sense of unity between the people and their government.

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2 Comments

  1. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I too had no idea of the disapproval of the public during the Cold War. I had always learned that the red scare was felt by everyone and this led to the support of the Cold War. What does this say about what history we learn? It seems that although there is a continuous pattern of public disapproval of wars or the presidents/governments action. Why don’t we every discuss that in school?

  2. Christina Glynn Christina Glynn

    I agree I had no idea about the opposition towards weaponry during the Cold War. I also was surprised about the disapproval of Bush and Raegan.

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