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For What It's Worth

             The Chinese have a saying, " May you live in interesting times." In the sixties the world was living in interesting times. The country was going to war with a little known country, Vietnam. The youth was rebelling against the establishment. And the music of a new generation was spreading a new message of peace, love and toleration. Music would become the new forum to express one's feelings and beliefs. It would be the new gospel preaching freedom and reason.
             Kennedy had gotten us into the Vietnam conflict to preserve the United States" world influence against Communism. After, Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson, then president, escalated U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. Marking a turning point in the war, North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces in South Vietnam launched the Tet offensive in 1968. Americans became convinced of the war's futility (Dudley, William. 91-118).
             While the U.S. government, a.k.a. the "Establishment," was fighting a war they couldn't win to preserve the American way of life that wasn't in jeopardy, an antiwar movement had developed. The "Movement" against the Vietnam War consisted of various groups representing a diverse cross selection of the U.S. ranging from corporate executives to hippies. College students, engaging in radical political and cultural dissent in the sixties, made up a big part of the Movement with their demonstrations against the Vietnam War (Dudley, William. 180-206).
             Also, making an impact on the decade, the music movement of the early sixties reflected and influenced the changing political and cultural currents of the 1960s. The singers themselves, men and women of the Left, sang about peace and war, poverty and injustice, and sometimes they looked forward to the coming revolution. Songs like Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin," Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," and Jimmy Hendrix's "Manic Depresssion" all reflect the feelings of the artists and in turn represented the emotion of the time (Dudley, William.

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