1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation [NOOK Book]

Overview


1968 in America is the tumultuous, comic, tragic, outrageous story of the year that changed a nation.

Nineteen sixty-eight has come to be recognized as the pivotal year in a period of nearly unprecedented change and upheaval—a year that witnessed the turning point of the Vietnam War and the Tet offensive; the shattering assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy; the near-breakdown of the Democratic National Convention—and, some ...
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1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation

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Overview


1968 in America is the tumultuous, comic, tragic, outrageous story of the year that changed a nation.

Nineteen sixty-eight has come to be recognized as the pivotal year in a period of nearly unprecedented change and upheaval—a year that witnessed the turning point of the Vietnam War and the Tet offensive; the shattering assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy; the near-breakdown of the Democratic National Convention—and, some thought, of the American political system itself. It was also the year in which the disparate strands of a growing youth culture burst forth upon the national consciousness, manifesting itself in a variety of ways—from ground-breaking records by the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Rolling Stones; to an explosion of student and radical unrest unlike anything this country had ever seen.

Much has been written about the sixties, but no one has yet captured the mixture of heady exuberance and sheer desperation that characterized these twelve months. Now Charles Kaiser, former journalist for Newsweek and The New York Times and himself a member of the generation that was irrevocably transformed by 1968, has written a work that at once flawlessly recreates, celebrates, and demythologizes this much-eulogized time. Here is the first book to speak with equal conviction, and equal authority, about such diverse figures and concerns as Martin Luther King and Timothy Leary; Janis Joplin and Richard Daley; the reasons behind Lyndon Johnson’s refusal to run for reelection and those pushing Bob Dylan toward electric music; the impact on Vietnam of John Kennedy’s death and the way sex, drugs, and rock and roll became a generation’s bywords; the Columbia gymnasium as a catalyst for student revolt and the autodestruction of Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign.

Largely based on unpublished interviews and documents (including in-depth conversations with McCarthy and Dylan, among many others, and the late Theodore White’s archives, to which the author had sole access), with the honesty and directness that were sixties hallmarks and the compulsive readability of classic social history, 1968 in America is the definitive study of a year when nothing could be taken for granted, and when America suddenly found its comfortable assumptions put on trial.
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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: 9780802193247
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 448,395
  • File size: 3 MB

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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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