An Indignant Generation." With all its disruptions and rage, the idea of black revolution was something many white Americans could at least comprehend, if not agree with. When rebellion seized their own children, however they were almost completely at a loss. A product of the posts war "Baby Boom," nurtured in affluence and concentrated in increasing numbers on college and university campuses. It was a generation marked by an unusual degree of political awareness and cultural alienation. Some shared with the beat writers and poets of the late fifties, a deep disillusionment with this status quo, a restless yearning for something more than a "realistic" conformity. Others had been aroused by the southern sit-in movement, "The first hint," wore a contemporary, "That there was a world beyond the campus that demanded some kind of personal response. "Not so much ideological as moral, in Jessica Mitford's words, "An Indignant Generation."
Although an image of arrogance, even ruthlessness, had followed him from his early days as counsel to a Senate committee investigating labor racketeering, Robert Kennedy had shown a remarkable capacity to understand the suffering of others. More than this, he had demonstrated an untiring commitment to the welfare of those who had gotten little more than the crumbs of the Great American Banquet. In fact, Kennedy Appealed most strongly to precisely those groups most disaffected with American society in nineteen sixty-eight, they believed in him with a passion unmatched for any other national political figure, in part for what he had done, but also for the kind of man he was.
The collapse of communications made it impossible to determine the fate of the pacification program, but most assessments were pessimistic. When the communists launched their attacks, the government pulled nearly half of the five hundred and fifty revolutionary development teams out of the hamlets to help defend the cities, along with eighteen of the fifty-one army battalions assigned to protect the pacification teams. In so doing, Saigon abandoned the countryside and dealt the pacification program what many felt was a considerable setback. "There always was a semi vacuum in the countryside," said one United States pacification worker. "Now there's a complete vacuum." By the end of the February, orders have gone out for pacification teams and some troops to return to the hamlets, but progress was slow. Although ninety-five percent of the five thousand RD workers in the