In a wave of protests reminiscent of the tumultuous 1960s, college campuses across the nation have become hotbeds of activity. The first encampment protest started at Columbia University on April 17. News of that action quickly spread, building a widespread movement. In a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people, protesters at campuses nationwide are demanding an immediate end to Israel's military operations.

Renowned historian and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin joined Boston Public Radio to reflect on protests in the 1960s and now. “I've been transported back in time,” she said.

She spoke about how the momentum of campus protests in 1968 influenced many to head to the polls for the New Hampshire primary to support anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy, who was running for presidency against incumbent Lyndon Johnson.

“Kids came from every state of the country, and they planted themselves in New Hampshire, the first primary,” Goodwin said.

McCarthy got 42% of the vote, while Johnson secured 48% — which was an unexpected feat for the McCarthy supporters.

“So those kids were incredibly successful,” Goodwin said. Two weeks after the primary, she noted that President Johnson announced he would suspend bombing in North Vietnam.

Goodwin said today's student protests are arguably more complex than those by their counterparts in the 1960s. She emphasized that people have to be “careful of the messages they’re leaving” since some people argue protests have included antisemitic rhetoric.

“You're going to lose the … battle if you have hatred on that side, when there's so much that needs to be fought on the side of humanitarian aid and what needs to go on in Gaza,” she said. “I think you need leaders that can keep you disciplined and keep you on the subject of what you care about deeply.”

Goodwin’s latest New York Times bestselling book is “An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s.”