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Small Town Newspapers, the Vietnam War and the Campaign Against American Cities’

Anderson, John Robert (2017) Small Town Newspapers, the Vietnam War and the Campaign Against American Cities’. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

There have been numerous contributions to the historiography of the Vietnam War. However, few have explored this within the parameters of small town America. This thesis will examine how small town newspaper editors from the 1950s until the 1970s used their newspapers to wage a campaign against American cities. In a departure from existing studies on the city and suburb, during this period, this thesis outlines the rivalry between the city and suburb also occurred between the city and small town. It will look at the use of imagery in the created myth of small town America as a tool of influence to propose that the American town was a long lost origin. The thesis will also explore how editors of small town newspapers connected the message of war to their wider conflict against the cities. By using a range of newspapers from the city and the town alongside research conducted around town life and documents of federal policy, the study positions itself to answer key questions. The study includes four case study towns found in a variety of locales throughout the United States, chosen in order to produce a greater sample size with increased diversity. Key conclusions for the thesis are also found within the sources from these towns. They highlight how animosity towards the city increased in the 1950s and how two distinctly competing rhetorics emerged. Conclusions can also be drawn on how the editors of these towns attempted to protect their idea of the American heartland embedding it with key ideals such as moral correctness, family values and strong principles of law and order. By attempting to create monolithic communities, these editors expanded the debate of town vs city across two decades encapsulating the Vietnam War, civil rights and patriotism into their rhetoric.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: Mr John Robert Anderson
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 16:34
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 16:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22324

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