Put Your Bodies upon the Wheels: Student Revolt in the 1960s

Put Your Bodies upon the Wheels: Student Revolt in the 1960s

by Kenneth J. Heineman, Heineman Kennethj
     
 

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What began at colleges in the sixties as a rejection of parental authority and the Vietnam War rapidly evolved into a social movement, one with lasting influences in diverse areas of American life. As anti-Communist and Great Society Democrats lost control of the Vietnam War and the unrest in America’s inner cities, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS),

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Overview

What began at colleges in the sixties as a rejection of parental authority and the Vietnam War rapidly evolved into a social movement, one with lasting influences in diverse areas of American life. As anti-Communist and Great Society Democrats lost control of the Vietnam War and the unrest in America’s inner cities, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the chief organization of the campus-based New Left, gained strength, ending the decade with 100,000 members. From political protest, SDS and its faculty and intellectual allies moved to violent confrontation with university and government officials. Sit-ins, building takeovers, riots, and strikes hit more than 300 of the nation’s 2,000 campuses in the 1960s. Between January 1969 and April 1970, young radicals bombed 5,000 police stations, corporate offices, military facilities, and campus buildings. Twenty-six thousand students were arrested and thousands injured or expelled while engaged in protest activities. Meanwhile 57,000 youths, many of whom lacked the financial means to attend college and secure draft deferments, died in Vietnam. Against a backdrop of student protest, the campus drug culture blossomed. In Put Your Bodies Upon the Wheels (a quote from Free Speech leader Mario Savio), Mr. Heineman plays no favorites in indicting foolishness and absurdity on both left and right. While his account may make us wonder what happened to our common sense in those years, his assessment of the causes and consequences of the sixties revolt is impossible to evade. “Heineman’s sensible survey of student protest in the 1960s neither celebrates upheaval nor condemns the reform impulse. As a result, members of both camps can read his chronicle of events at Berkeley and elsewhere with nostalgia and for insight.”—Dallas Morning News.

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Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review
An informative analysis which explores the basic issues at the heart of student protests...a lively tone.
— James A. Cox
Booklist
Heineman takes a statistic-filled romp through the campus-based counterculture.
— Mike Tribby
Foreword
Presents a cogent view of the events that ultimately resulted in a conservative backlash.
— Karl Helicher
ForeWord Reviews
Presents a cogent view of the events that ultimately resulted in a conservative backlash.
— Karl Helicher
Midwest Book Review - James A. Cox
An informative analysis which explores the basic issues at the heart of student protests...a lively tone.
Booklist - Mike Tribby
Heineman takes a statistic-filled romp through the campus-based counterculture.
Foreword Reviews - Karl Helicher
Presents a cogent view of the events that ultimately resulted in a conservative backlash.
KARL HELICHER
Presents a cogent view of the events that ultimately resulted in a conservative backlash.
FOREWORD
MIKE TRIBBY
Heineman takes a statistic-filled romp through the campus-based counterculture.
BOOKLIST
JAMES A. COX
An informative analysis which explores the basic issues at the heart of student protests...a lively tone.
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Kirkus Reviews
A chronicle of the counterculture of the 1960s, marked simultaneously by crystalline scholarship and utter distaste for its subject matter. Heineman (God Is a Conservative, not reviewed) writes in a formal, lucid manner and offers a thorough account of the cultural watersheds and popular movements we think of as"the '60s." As his title indicates, he tries to address the human involvement (and costs) of such phenomena as the SDS and the Black Panthers and, to this end, he's done exhaustive primary-source research and offers much information (though arguably, little new information) on Mark Rudd, Abbie Hoffman, et al. The result is a clear chronological overview of the relationship between particular radical groups and larger social dynamics, focusing on flashpoints like the escalation of the Vietnam War (a conflict fought, Heineman notes, by impoverished youth who did not enjoy the student deferments of their more privileged peers) and the decline of LBJ's"War on Poverty." And yet the author undermines his own narrative's sober qualities with a consistent undercurrent of paranoid sensationalism, exemplified by his repeated references to"red diaper babies" and his frequent reduction of all 1960s-era radical pursuits to the common goals of interracial sex and drug abuse. Although Heineman pursues a powerful thesis (viz., how New Left excess doomed the post—New Deal Democratic alliances), his insistence on discrediting the era's youth culture allows no consideration of the popular anguish caused by Vietnam and Southern civil-rights strife. A measured hysteria (if such a thing exists) pervades this work, with avuncular outrage implied toward any reader who has ever taken an enjoyabletokeor been seduced by cultures beyond the mainstream. Such a stance would seem hilariously dated were the scholarship on display not so solid, and the authorial hurt so sincere. A house divided against itself: Heineman yokes the impressive force of his scholarship to a wobbly cart of partisan invective.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566633529
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
03/01/2002
Series:
American Ways Series
Pages:
266
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.77(d)

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