No Blanks: Kent State 40 Years Later

The student antiwar movement of the late '60s and early '70s lives on in American consciousness as a symbol of high-minded idealism. Some like to point to the altruism and innocence of the movement and the way it stirred students out of their apathy, creating a generation of activists. Such a view conveniently ignores the movement's essential self-centeredness, its denunciation of patriotism, its rejection of authority, and its penchant for violence. Yet all of those things were clearly on display in the events leading up to the afternoon on May 4, 1970, perhaps the very apogee of student protest in this country. Much of what we know about the event popularly referred to as the Kent State Massacre has come down to us only in history's shorthand -- that the military sought to kill innocent, unarmed students and bystanders in an effort to subvert dissent. But the backstory does not always conform to the heroic narrative of this tragic event.Perhaps the first thing to...(Read Full Article)