The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working-Class Revolution

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The shock and horror generated by the shootings at Kent State was still fresh. Student activism had reached a fever pitch, Universities were besieged by sit-ins or being shut down. The militant Weather Underground had firebombed ROTC buildings among other buildings. The Vietnam War was still ongoing, the tide turning since the Tet offensive in 1968. President Richard Nixon had promised to end the war, but his bombing of Cambodia had infuriated a portion of rebellious youth. As college kids took the streets in masses to protest, they hadn’t expected to awaken the Silent Majority.

The college kids and the movements that spurred them on were looked on with disdain by the blue collar world. The blue collar workers, such as the construction workers in New York City, toiled long hours at back breaking labor. Many of them had fought for their country in World War II, Korea, or even Vietnam. The doves infuriated the hardhats with their rebellion. Mayor Lindsay’s sympathy with the protesters further stoked the fires of discontent. The stage was set for a pitched battle.

The Hardhat Riot is an engrossing work of history. David Paul Kuhn captures the moment with his vivid detail and description of a dark day in New York and U.S. history. The different perspectives, including the workers, the Lindsay administration, and the Nixon administration, add more color to a fantastic read.


Reviewed By:

Author David Paul Kuhn
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publish Date 01-Jul-2020
ISBN 9780190064716
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2020
Category History
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