The crime of making Americans aware of their own history
Is history getting too close for comfort for the fragile little American heart and mind? Their schools and their favorite media have done an excellent job of keeping them ignorant of what their favorite country has done to the rest of the world, but lately some discomforting points of view have managed to find their way into this well-defended American consciousness.
As good a wordsmith as Oglesby is, the best, deepest, and truest words in this book of his don’t come from him. Instead, they come from several Vietnamese intellectuals he met and talked with in South Vietnam in a trip he took there in August 1965, shortly after his election to SDS’ presidency. I do not know that their words are timeless, in fact I pray that they are not, but they certainly are the wisest, finest words ever said about the United States intervening in other countries’ affairs. In light of our current wars, they require a close and careful reading, followed by ingestion, digestion, and incorporation into all of our minds and hearts.
Stumbled across Carl Oglesby’s Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960’s Antiwar Movement at the library. Book was published in 2008 and made some splash in left circles but seems to have been mostly ignored by the book reviewing fraternity. I grabbed it almost by accident in a hurry–I’d never been that interested in the SDS (Oglesby was president of SDS 1965-66) but I figured that there might be something in it of use or interest to someone like me who is completely opposed to our two failed ongoing wars in the middle east. Turned out I figured right, and the book has some real gems in it that are of truly unsurpassed value to all of us.