The Vietnam Influentials
DOI link for The Vietnam Influentials
The Vietnam Influentials book
Finally, just because someone is on this list does not mean that he has had an earthshaking influence upon policy. While the issue of the relations between intellectuals and political policy-making will be discussed below in Chapter 14, the following view of a university professor who was involved in the Kennedy administration is worth remembering:
I don't think intellectuals have a great deal of effect. I mean, take the people in the Johnson administration, the people Tim Hoopes describes in his book. . . . I think that Hoopes and Nitze and people like that changed their views on Vietnam not because of anything that any intellectual wrote, but because of the evidence of the failures of the policies which they saw every day .... I think it is a mistake to assume a bilateral relationship between intellectuals and opinions. It is a triangular relationship between events, writers, and opinions. And events are the most important. The Vietcong have changed our minds about Vietnam, not the people that have written. I think that Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, McGovern, etc., had more effect in changing views about Vietnam than Galbraith, Goodwin and Schlesinger.