The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee

The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee

by Terry H. Anderson
     
 


It began in 1960 with the Greensboro sit-ins. By 1973, when a few Native Americans rebelled at Wounded Knee and the U.S. Army came home from Vietnam, it was over. In between came Freedom Rides, Port Huron, the Mississippi Summer, Berkeley, Selma, Vietnam, the Summer of Love, Black Power, the Chicago Convention, hippies, Brown Power, and Women's Liberation--The…  See more details below

Overview


It began in 1960 with the Greensboro sit-ins. By 1973, when a few Native Americans rebelled at Wounded Knee and the U.S. Army came home from Vietnam, it was over. In between came Freedom Rides, Port Huron, the Mississippi Summer, Berkeley, Selma, Vietnam, the Summer of Love, Black Power, the Chicago Convention, hippies, Brown Power, and Women's Liberation--The Movement--in an era that became known as The Sixties. Why did millions of Americans become activists; why did they take to the streets?

These are questions Terry Anderson explores in The Movement and The Sixties, a searching history of the social activism that defined a generation of young Americans and that called into question the very nature of "America." Drawing on interviews, "underground" manuscripts colleceted at campuses and archives throughout the nation, and many popular accounts, Anderson begins with Greensboro and reveals how one event built upon another and exploded into the kaleidoscope of activism by the early 1970s. Civil rights, student power, and the crusade against the Vietnam War composed the first wave of the movement, and during and after the rip tides of 1968, the movement changed and expanded, flowing into new currents of counterculture, minority empowerment, and women's liberation. The parades of protesters, along with schocking events--from the Kennedy assassination to My Lai--encouraged other citizens to question their nation. Was America racist, imperialist, sexist?

Unlike other books on this tumultuous decade, The Movement and The Sixties is neither a personal memoir, nor a treatise on New Left ideology, nor a chronicle of the so-called leaders of the movement. Instead, it is a national history, a compelling and fascinating account of a defining era that remains a significant part of our lives today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Anderson defines the 1960s' "movement" as a loose, ever-shifting coalition of social activists including civil rights and Vietnam War protesters, feminists, students, ecologists and hippies. In his analysis, the movement was generally leaderless and was not defined by new-left philosophy; rather, its members were motivated by the old-fashioned American pragmatism that drove protesters during other reform eras-the Revolution, Jacksonian democracy, the populist and progressive era and the New Deal. Far from being a failure, as critics contend, the movement, in Anderson's estimate, cracked a rigid Cold War culture, forced campus and educational reform, sped the passage of civil rights legislation, revolutionized the status of women and influenced mainstream politics, which co-opted many of its ideas about citizen and community empowerment. Professor of history at Texas A&M University, Anderson draws heavily on interviews, underground newspapers, leaflets and participants' memoirs to create a vivid newsreel. His sweeping study is a valuable, refreshingly unbiased reassessment of the '60s legacy.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anderson defines the 1960s' ``movement'' as a loose, ever-shifting coalition of social activists including civil rights and Vietnam War protesters, feminists, students, ecologists and hippies. In his analysis, the movement was generally leaderless and was not defined by new-left philosophy; rather, its members were motivated by the old-fashioned American pragmatism that drove protesters during other reform eras-the Revolution, Jacksonian democracy, the populist and progressive era and the New Deal. Far from being a failure, as critics contend, the movement, in Anderson's estimate, cracked a rigid Cold War culture, forced campus and educational reform, sped the passage of civil rights legislation, revolutionized the status of women and influenced mainstream politics, which co-opted many of its ideas about citizen and community empowerment. Professor of history at Texas A&M University, Anderson draws heavily on interviews, underground newspapers, leaflets and participants' memoirs to create a vivid newsreel. His sweeping study is a valuable, refreshingly unbiased reassessment of the '60s legacy. (Apr.)
Library Journal
The Sixties, Texas A & M historian Anderson argues in this meticulously researched account, sought to answer what he considers the "central question" of U.S. history: "What is the meaning of America?" He follows the protests and demonstrations of the groups challenging or defending the status quo in the Sixties and describes how the politics of the period turned abruptly from hope and peaceful change to despair and violence. He also demonstrates how the Sixties counterculture, once intent on changing the political and social structure, fragmented in the Seventies into groups focused on themselves. Anderson generally emphasizes the positive contributions of "the movement"-freedom to live alternative lifestyles and empowerment of ethnics, women, gays, youth, and senior citizens. But he glosses over the downside of the legacy: disintegration of the family unit, fragmentation of national politics, and increased drug use. David Farber's The Sixties: From Memory to History (Univ. of North Carolina Pr., 1994) has a broader scope, but Anderson's generally evenhanded study adds rich detail missing from the earlier work. [For an in-depth view of the Sixties from those who helped create the revolution, see Ron Chepesiuk's Sixties Radicals, Then and Now, reviewed on p. 85.-Ed.]-Jack Forman, Mesa Coll. Lib., San Diego

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195074093
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/16/1995
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.63(d)

Meet the Author

About the author:

Terry Anderson, a Vietnam veteran, is a Professor of History at Texas A&M University, and also has taught in Malaysia, Japan, and has received a Fulbright to China. He has written many articles on the 1960s and on the Vietnam War, and is the author of The United States, Great Britain and the Cold War, 1944-1947, and the co-author of A Flying Tiger's Diary (with fighter pilot Charles Bond, Jr.).

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