By Robert Cohen
The melancholy period observed the 1st mass scholar circulate in American heritage. The campaign, led largely via younger Communists, was once either an anti-war crusade and a circulate championing a broader and extra egalitarian imaginative and prescient of the welfare nation than that of the hot purchasers. The circulation arose from an important political awakening on campus, as a result of the commercial problem of the Thirties, the escalating foreign tensions, and possibility of worldwide battle wrought via fascism. At its height, within the past due Thirties, the flow mobilized at the very least a part million collegians in annual moves opposed to battle. by no means prior to, and never back until eventually the Sixties, have been such a lot of undergraduates mobilized for political protest within the usa. The circulation misplaced approximately all its momentum in 1939, while the signing of the Hitler-Stalin pact served to discredit the coed Communist leaders. including to the rising portrait of political existence within the Thirties, this ebook is the results of a unprecedented volume of analysis, has interesting person tales to inform, and gives the 1st entire background of this scholar insurgency.
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Extra resources for When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America's First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941
College students came largely from the middle class and, unlike working class Americans, could usually afford to ignore the Depression in its early stages. 19 Though these middle-class Americans could not permanently escape the Depression, their economic crisis was delayed during the time it took their financial resources to dwindle. For the majority of middle-class college youths, the Depression began after—some two years after—the Depression devastated blue-collar America. This is why from 1929 through 1931 collegians barely took notice of the economic crisis.
Memories of that struggle lingered.
24 In the months following the crash, students also saw no need to become alarmed because they thought President Hoover would prevent Wall Street's misfortune from producing a lasting economic slump. " This faith in Hoover was consistent with the Republican assumptions and pro-business orientation that undergraduates had held throughout the 1920s. 25 The dominant student attitude toward the economy during the early Depression years had an elitist cast, bordering on arrogance. Undergraduates tended to assume that they were the future leaders of society, whose skills and education assured them promising careers in any economic climate.
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