Dave Sisson, ’68 quotes recent history book

It is the Fourth of July and I have just finished reading John Meacham’s The Soul of America-The Battle for our Better Angels. It is a book for people who don’t like the reality show we are living through. Meacham tells why he wrote it: “This book is a portrait of hours in which the politics of fear were prevalent–a reminder that periods of public dispiritedness are not new and a reassurance that they are survivable…In darker times, if a particular president fails to advance the national story—or worse, moves us backward—then those who witness, protest, and resist must stand fast, in hope, working toward a better day.”
I wish to share a paragraph with my classmates that encapsulates our time:
“The watershed of 1968 was that kind of year: one of surprises and reversals, of blasted hopes and rising fears, of scuttled plans and unexpected new realities. The year began with Tet and cascaded into chaos: the deaths of King and of Robert Kennedy, the riots that engulfed many American cities, the calamitous Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and finally, wearily, the election of Richard Nixon as the nation’s thirty-seventh president. More than half a million U.S. troops were in Vietnam, and combat deaths occurred at a rate of about 46 U.S. troops a day, for a total of 16,899 that year. It was a period of disorienting violence, of disorder, of loss, of pervasive tragedy.”
–David M. Sisson, Deerfield 1968

David Sisson


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