Problems of identity loomed large among these idealistic and privileged youth. They disdained conventional careers and the expectations of their parents. Their inchoate personal ambitions and diffuse but intensely felt grievances found expression in political extremism. In a peculiarly contradictory fashion, they longed for both an authentic, freely chosen community and the pursuit of heroic, individualistic self-assertion. To compensate for class guilt they desperately and grotesquely sought to identify with and imitate the real underdogs: blacks, Vietcong, Latin American peasants, and guerillas. The venerable American quest for self-realization thus became thoroughly politicized. For a while they seemed to succeed, illustrating what stupendous folly struggling for the unity of the personal and political begets.