The 1960s: A Documentary Reader / Edition 1

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Drawn from a wide range of perspectives and showcasing a variety of primary source materials, Brian Ward’s The 1960s: A Documentary Reader highlights the most important themes of the era.

  • Supplies students with over 50 primary documents on the turbulent period of the 1960s in the United States
  • Includes speeches, court decisions, acts of Congress, secret memos, song lyrics, cartoons, photographs, news reports, advertisements, and first-hand testimony
  • A comprehensive introduction, document headnotes, and questions at the end of each chapter are designed to encourage students to engage with the material critically
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Ward has crafted a cool, clever, and incisive Sixties reader. . . . Pedagogically sophisticated and thought-provoking, this reader gives instructors an invaluable tool as it gives students a wide-ranging tour of Sixties politics and culture.”
David Farber, Temple University, author of The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s

"With his thoughtful introduction and excellent selection of documents, Brian Ward has done an outstanding job of bringing to life the complexities and contradictions of the era."
Kevin M. Kruse, Princeton University, author of White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism

“Ward recaptures much of the variety, vitality, and energy of the 1960s. . . . Taken together these documents bring back the sometimes raucous, mostly contentious, but never dull era we call the 60s. Ward’s fine and incisive introduction puts the discordant parts into a coherent context.”
Mark Lytle, Bard College, author of America's Uncivil Wars: The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon

“This brilliant collage of political and cultural documents brings the 1960s back to life as presidents, activists, musicians, and social critics from the left and right offer competing visions of national purpose and American identity.  An extraordinary teaching resource.”
Matthew D. Lassiter, University of Michigan, author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Brian Ward is Professor of American Studies at the University of Manchester. His major publications include the award winning books Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations (1998) and Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South (2004). He is currently working on a book about the relationship between the American South and the world of British popular music.

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Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface.



1. Into the 1960s.

1. Jack Gould, Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show, 1956.

2. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our Struggle,” 1956.

3. Nora Johnson, “Sex and the College Girl,” 1957.

4. Time, “The Roots of Home,” 1960.

5. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, 1961.

2. The Economy: Abundance, Consumerism, and Poverty.

1. Michael Harrington, The Other America, 1962.

2. Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report, 1965, 1966.

3. Frigidaire, Advertisement for Gemini 19 Refrigerator, 1966.

4. The Monkees, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” 1967.

5. Billboard, Top Selling Records, 1960–9.

3. The Cold War Context.

1. John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961.

2. Robert McNamara, Notes on October 21, 1962, Meeting with the President, 1962.

3. Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, and Peter George, Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 1964.

4. Revd. David A. Noebel, Rhythm, Riots and Revolution, 1966.

4. The Civil Rights Movement.

1. SNCC, Statement of Purpose, 1960.

2. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream,” 1963.

3. Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” 1964.

4. Fannie Lou Hamer, Testimony to the Democratic Party National Convention, 1964.

5. Lyndon B. Johnson, “To Fulfill These Rights,” 1965.

5. The New Left and the Counterculture.

1. Students for a Democratic Society, the Port Huron Statement, 1962.

2. Mario Savio, “An End to History,” 1964.

3. Rick Griffin, Pow-Wow: A Gathering of the Tribes, 1967.

4. Warren Hinckle, “A Social History of the Hippies,” 1967.

5. Yippie!, “People, Get Ready,” 1968.

6. Vietnam.

1. Lyndon B. Johnson, Telephone Conversation with Senator Richard Russell, 1964.

2. US Congress, Tonkin Gulf Resolution, 1964.

3. US State Department, Aggression from the North, 1965.

4. Country Joe and the Fish, “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’-to-Die Rag,” 1965/1967.

5. Corporal Jon Johnson, Letter to Mom & Dad & Peggy, 1966.

6. CBS News, “Saigon Under Fire,” 1968.

7. Gender and Sexuality.

1. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963.

2. US News & World Report, “The Pill,” 1966.

3. National Organization for Women, Bill of Rights, 1967.

4. Redstockings Manifesto, 1969.

5. Lucian Truscott, IV, “Gay Power Comes to Sheridan Square,” 1969.

6. Ruth Miller, Testimony to Senate Hearing on an Equal Rights Amendment, 1970.

8. Conservatism and the New Right.

1. Billy Graham, “The National Purpose,” 1960.

2. Young Americans for Freedom, Sharon Statement, 1960.

3. US Supreme Court, Abington v. Schempp, 1963.

4. Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing,” 1964.

5. Herblock, “Wallace For President,” 1968.

6. Richard M. Nixon, Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech, 1968.

7. Spiro Agnew, Television News Coverage , 1969.

9. Science, Technology, and the Environment.

1. John F. Kennedy, “The Nation’s Space Effort,” 1962.

2. Sony, Advertisement for Micro-TV, 1962.

3. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962.

4. US Congress, the Wilderness Act, 1964.

5. Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, 1968.

10. Racial and Ethnic Identity: Pride and Politics.

1. Black Panther Party, “What We Want, What We Believe,” 1966.

2. Associated Press, Black Power Salute at the Mexico Olympics, 1968.

3. Indians of All Nations, “Alcatraz Proclamation,” 1969.

4. Chicano National Conference, “El Plan de Aztlán,” 1969.

11. Out of the 1960s: Alternative Endings.

1. Robert F. Kennedy, Remarks on the Death of Martin Luther King, 1968.

2. Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock,” 1969.

3. John Filo, Kent State Killings, 1970.

4. US Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, 1973.

5. Watergate Special Prosecution Force, Memo on Prosecuting Richard M. Nixon, 1974.

12. The 1960s in Myth and Memory.

1. Dan Quayle, “Reflections on Urban America,” 1992.

2. Stephen Holden, “Seeing the 60s Through a 90s Corrective Lens,” 1999.

3. David Greenberg, “Saigon and Saddam: The Use and Abuse of Vietnam Analogies,” 2004.

4. Thomas J. Sugrue, “The End of the ’60s,” 2008.

Further Reading.


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