The Portable Sixties Reader

The Portable Sixties Reader

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From civil rights to free love, JFK to LSD, Woodstock to the Moonwalk, the Sixties was a time of change, political unrest, and radical experiments in the arts, sexuality, and personal identity. In this anthology of more than one hundred selections of essays, poetry, and fiction by some of America’s most gifted writers, Ann Charters sketches the unfolding of this

Overview

From civil rights to free love, JFK to LSD, Woodstock to the Moonwalk, the Sixties was a time of change, political unrest, and radical experiments in the arts, sexuality, and personal identity. In this anthology of more than one hundred selections of essays, poetry, and fiction by some of America’s most gifted writers, Ann Charters sketches the unfolding of this most turbulent decade.

The Portable Sixties Reader is organized into thematic chapters, from the Civil Rights movement to the Anti-Vietnam movement, the Free Speech movement, the Counterculture movement, drugs and the movement into Inner Space, the Beats and other fringe literary movements, the Black Arts movement, the Women’s movement, and the Environmental movement. The concluding chapter, “Elegies for the Sixties,” offers tributes to ten figures whose lives—and deaths—captured the spirit of the decade.

Contributors include:

Edward Abbey, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Richard Brautigan, Lenny Bruce, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Jim Carroll, Rachel Carson, Carlos Castenada, Bob Dylan, Betty Friedan, Nikki Giovanni, Michael Herr, Abbie Hoffman, Robert Hunter, Ken Kesey, Martin Luther King, Jr., Timothy Leary, Denise Levertov, Norman Mailer, Malcolm X, Country Joe McDonald, Kate Millet, Tim O’Brien, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Gloria Steinem, Hunter S. Thompson, Calvin Trillin, Alice Walker, Eudora Welty and more.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
A compulsively readable collection.
Seattle Times
Absorbing...a collection to be read...seething with emotion and urgency...
Kirkus Reviews
Kerouac biographer and veteran anthologist Charters (The Portable Beat Reader, not reviewed, etc.) successfully conveys the atmosphere of the 1960s for those who lived through it, and those who did not. The four-page preface clearly explains her choices. Charters, who came of age during the 1960s, concedes that some of the pieces are very personal, meant to reflect her intense emotional and intellectual experiences. The selections and omissions are determined to some extent by the ten topical sections: civil rights, war resistance, free speech, the counterculture (largely in music as rendered here), mind-altering drugs, Beat literature, African-American arts, the women's movement (especially the sexual revolution), environmental protection, and "elegies" (portraits of ten people who died during the decade). Charters (English/Univ. of Connecticut) gives short shrift to innovative pieces of narrative journalism--Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Joan Didion, Truman Capote are all excluded--but otherwise her choices seem unarguable. The introductions to each selection provide pertinent context, which is especially important because many of the selections are excerpts from books. A 25-page chronology of the decade will prove useful for those born after 1960, as well as offering forgotten tidbits for middle-aged and elderly readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142001943
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/17/2002
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Pages:
672
Sales rank:
744,396
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Ann Charters is the editor of The Portable Sixties Reader, The Portable Jack Kerouac, two volumes of Jack Kerouac's Selected Letters, and Beat Down to Your Soul. She teaches at the University of Connecticut.

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