Chapter 17 discusses the "black revolt of the 1950s and 1960s." The chapter starts by recounting various black writers' expression of their suffering and condition. Zinn describes the links between black liberation movements and communism (the Communist Party was alone in paying serious attention to racial issues); writers such as Richard Wright joined the Communist Party, and leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois sympathized with communist positions. President Truman created a Committee on Civil Rights to address racial issues, in part for ethical reasons, and in part because America's growing presence on the world stage meant every action was scrutinized. In 1954, the American Supreme Court "outlawed segregation." Despite these governmental actions, blacks mobilized throughout the nation in various ways:boycotts, marches, speeches, sit-ins, and voting rallies. The white ruling class responded with arrests and with violence both official (police brutality) and unofficial (bombed churches, lynchings, and assassinations of key leaders). The result was a series of urban riots across the nation, especially after Dr. Martin Luther King was killed. Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the courts failed to protect blacks who were injured in the riots or the backlash following them.Chapter 18: The Impossible Victory: VietnamChapter 18 covers the Vietnam War. Zinn's discussion of the war starts by tracing its roots from the end of World War II, when Japan had to surrender the former French colony of Indochina. From 1946 through 1954, the French fought the Vietminh movement for control of Vietnam. American involvement was publicly justified by a war against communism, but it was more properly considered a "military action" to expand U.S. power and secure regional economic dominance. In 1964, President Johnson's government falsified the Gulf of Tonkin episode to justify official intervention. The United Stated bombarded the countryside and sent hundreds of thousands of troops. These military excursions extended into nearby Laos and Cambodia, and countless civilians were slaughtered. The result was a massive popular movement against the war. In the end, the United States removed its troops, thus demonstrating that "the people" of a nation can end a war and lead national policy.