The good-looking one, the one in need, the one that almost was
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Ron Chepesiuk is a freelance writer and the author of six books, including Sixties Radicals, Then and Now: Candid Conversations with Those Who Moved an Era (McFarland). He lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Chepesiuk: So you see yourself as a modern-day Luddite?
Sale: A Neo-Luddite, yes: a person who sees technology as the principal threat to a sane society and the welfare of the planet. A Neo-Luddite says there must be an assessment and analysis of the effects of technology and, where appropriate, resistance to it.
Up until December 1967, almost everybody had been a hawk. Starting in February 1968, everybody who was not a dove was saying they had been all along. If you look at the Kennedy-era intellectuals, they have two versions of what happened: the memoirs they wrote before the Tet Offensive and the books they wrote after it. These are radically different. Before Tet, there is no hint that anyone wanted to withdraw from Vietnam. The books after Tet are full of explanations about how Kennedy had plans to withdraw from Vietnam. The game was over by then, of course, and they wanted to cover their asses.