Burns, a historian currently working on the Martin Luther King papers at Stanford, deftly analyzes the major protest movements of the 1960s involving women, blacks, the Vietnam War, and the New Left. The discrepancy between textbook democracy and pervasive social and political injustice in the United States ``impelled many blacks, women, and youth to close the gap between ideal and reality.'' Less certain, suggests Burns, are the long-term effects of these interconnected movements, each of which has lost its original fervor. Part of the publisher's impressive ``Social Movements Past and Present'' series, this is a solid contribution to the growing 1960s literature.-- Kenneth F. Kister, Poynter Inst. for Media Studies, St. Petersburg, Fla.
School Library Journal
A history of the black freedom movement in the deep South, the student-oriented New Left with emphasis on Vietnamese War protests, and the women's movement, all told from the perspective of the grassroots democratic organizations that supported them. Arrangement of text is thematic, with concise case studies and vignettes that individualize the movements and give rise to readers' emotional response. Occasional use of slang and colloquialisms detract from the serious tone of the work. Burns concludes his study with an analysis of the movements and consideration of ways in which they might have been more effective. The limited focus on the goals, accomplishments, and history of these social movements will assist students of American history and government in research assignments, but does not attempt to give a comprehensive picture of the times. An important addition to a broad-based collection of work on this subject. --Barbara Hawkins, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Fairfax, VA