1968 In America : Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture and the Shaping of a Generation


Charles Kaiser’s 1968 in America is widely recognized as one of the best historical accounts of the 1960s. This book devotes equal attention to the personal and the political — and speaks with authority about such diverse figures as Bob Dylan, Eugene McCarthy, Janis Joplin, and Lyndon Johnson.
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1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation

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Charles Kaiser’s 1968 in America is widely recognized as one of the best historical accounts of the 1960s. This book devotes equal attention to the personal and the political — and speaks with authority about such diverse figures as Bob Dylan, Eugene McCarthy, Janis Joplin, and Lyndon Johnson.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kaiser has no ideological ax to grind, which is refreshing, but in beckoning us to re-experience the idealism, chaos and exuberance of the 1960sand of 1968 in particularhe keeps tripping over his overheated prose. He was a Columbia freshman in 1968 and has been a reporter for the New York Times , Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal . The political shockwaves of the Vietnamese Tet offensive, the rise of black militancy, the loosening effect of rock 'n' roll and the end of the liberal consensus in America are among the phenomena related with a wealth of simmering incident and detail. Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign (for which the author was a volunteer worker) gets an excessive amount of space. The impact of the Beatles on history, as measured here, seems about as great as that of Martin Luther Kingor Nixon. This impressionistic montage ultimately succumbs to its lack of viewpoint. It's a juicy look back, replete with interviews, but a number of recent books cover the same ground much better. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802135308
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 667,012
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.94 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2001

    Great book!

    I initially read this book only because it was assigned in my American History class. But wow! I am hooked on it. I didn't live during 1968, so sometimes it's hard for me to fully grasp the importance of the events that occured during the time. I've been living with the effects and consequences of the events of 1968 for the 25 years I've been alive, but I took for granted that this was just the way things are. Reading this book has very much 'enlightened' me to the way life was pre-1968, and to the national and political events that took place during that year. My professor is a fantastic lecturer, but even he was unable to make me 'feel' 1968 like this book did. I am emotionally attached to this book now--I almost feel now as if I did live during the period--and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to gain a better understanding of American politics in general. Nothing has opened my eyes like this book, especially combined with my professor's lectures and my own interest in 20th century American politics. This is one book I won't be selling back with the rest of my textbooks at the end of the semester.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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