An American Ordeal is a comprehensive interpretive history that covers the anti-war movement in the USA throughout the entire Vietnam era. This study offers a narrative of the struggle that took place on the home front, even as the war itself was being waged in South-east Asia. Portraying the movement as a social force that energized people culturally yet failed to develop enduring political strength, the authors view the war as part of the long tradition of peace activism in America, as well as a process that ultimately spurred citizens to take decisive action against their government's policy. Beginning with the rise of a liberal peace movement against atmospheric nuclear testing from 1955 to 1963, the authors describe the emergence of radical pacifists and politically motivated groups who eventually created a diverse coalition against the Vietnam War. They examine how extremist elements came to dominate the movement in the late 1960s, to be supplanted by a larger consensus of liberal and pacifist groups in the early 1970s.