Rhetorical Strategies In The Antiwar Protest

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The Antiwar Protest of the late 1950s and early 1960s was a successful protest movement that utilized effective protest politics as defined by Zoe Trodd in her book, American Protest Literature. The effectiveness of the protest was due to the movement causing the American public to challenge their belief in the nation’s leaders capacity to provide unquestionable truths and due to the protest placing a colossal amount of powerful pressure on the nation’s leaders.(Zimmerman) Many historians believe the success of the protest led to a change in policy and a change in the American public’s view of politicians.(Zimmerman)
The Antiwar Protest began in the late 1950s and early 1960s.(Zimmerman) The protest effort was centered around two groups: peace groups formed by left-wing activists that opposed the Cold War and America’s interference in other countries and a group of students that felt the government was high-handed and unjust, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). (Zimmerman) These groups had a mission to educate the public about Vietnam and convert large amounts of Americans around to their antiwar agenda.(Zimmerman) Early on, the groups formulated a plan to bring about the change they sought by using the press, literature, music, and the public domain.(Zimmerman) The Antiwar Protest used three rhetorical strategies: empathy, shock value, and symbolic actions.(Trodd) Of the three strategies, the movement relied most heavily on shock value. Bill Zimmerman, an
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