My Generation; Collective Autobiography and Identity Politics

My Generation; Collective Autobiography and Identity Politics

by John Hazlett
     
 

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John Hazlett’s engaging and insightful study of writers from the 1960s demonstrates for the first time the ways in which the idea of the generation has affected autobiographical writing in this century. Exchanging “I” for “we,” autobiographers from the sixties claim to speak on behalf of all members of their generation. However, the

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Overview

John Hazlett’s engaging and insightful study of writers from the 1960s demonstrates for the first time the ways in which the idea of the generation has affected autobiographical writing in this century. Exchanging “I” for “we,” autobiographers from the sixties claim to speak on behalf of all members of their generation. However, the extent to which each perspective accurately represents that generation’s beliefs, values, and goals will continually be contested by competing texts and narratives.
    Writers whose work is addressed in My Generation include Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Michael Rossman, Dotson Rader, Raymond Mungo, Jane Alpert, John Bunzel, Peter Collier, David Horowitz, Joyce Maynard, David Harris, and Todd Gitlin.
    As Hazlett discovered, the stories these writers present are not simply straightforward accounts; instead, each is constructed with a specific political and personal agenda in an effort to define the generation’s identity and the writer’s own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
My Generation offers exceptionally perceptive readings of autobiographical works by veterans of the 1960s culture wars, from the ‘annunciatory narrative’ of the Port Huron Statement to the self-consciously elegiac reflections of such Movement veterans as Tom Hayden and Todd Gitlin. In the process, John Hazlett convincingly argues that these works constitute a new autobiographical genre intent upon illuminating the collective experience of an entire generation. My Generation deepens our understanding of the sixties and its long aftermath.”—Paul Boyer, Merle Curti Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"A superb book—well conceived, thoroughly researched, theoretically informed, balanced in its judgments, and gracefully written."—Milton Bates, professor of English, Marquette University

"The 60s is becoming a mythic story that will shape the consciousness of future generations. But at present the 60s is still the subject of competing stories, and this interesting book is the story of how the story is being told."—Tom Hayden

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299157845
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
06/12/1998
Series:
Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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