The Sixties: From Memory to History / Edition 1

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This collection of original essays represents some of the most exciting ways in which historians are beginning to paint the 1960s onto the larger canvas of American history. While the first literature about this turbulent period was written largely by participants, many of the contributors to this volume are young scholars who came of age intellectually in the 1970s and 1980s and thus write from fresh perspectives.

The essayists ask fundamental questions about how much America really changed in the 1960s and why certain changes took place. In separate chapters, they explore how the great issues of the decade—the war in Vietnam, race relations, youth culture, the status of women, the public role of private enterprise—were shaped by evolutions in the nature of cultural authority and political legitimacy. They argue that the whirlwind of events and problems we call the Sixties can only be understood in the context of the larger history of post-World War II America.

"Growth Liberalism in the Sixties: Great Societies at Home and Grand Designs Abroad," by Robert M. Collins
"The American State and the Vietnam War: A Genealogy of Power," by Mary Sheila McMahon
"And That's the Way It Was: The Vietnam War on the Network Nightly News," by Chester J. Pach, Jr.
"Race, Ethnicity, and the Evolution of Political Legitimacy," by David R. Colburn and George E. Pozzetta
"Nothing Distant about It: Women's Liberation and Sixties Radicalism," by Alice Echols
"The New American Revolution: The Movement and Business," by Terry H. Anderson
"Who'll Stop the Rain?: Youth Culture, Rock 'n' Roll, and Social Crises," by George Lipsitz
"Sexual Revolution(s)," by Beth Bailey
"The Politics of Civility," by Kenneth Cmiel
"The Silent Majority and Talk about Revolution," by David Farber

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What People Are Saying

Robert A. Rosenstone
A unique and necessary contribution to our understanding of the sixties, one that should help wrench discussions away from the nostalgic realm where, even among academics, they have remained for far too long.
—Robert A. Rosenstone, California Institute of Technology
William M. Tuttle,Jr.
The 1960's is now history; and in The Sixties eleven of America's brightest young historians engage such topics as their youth culture, sexuality, changing cultural identities, women's liberation, and the silent majority. In so doing, they brilliantly eliminate the decade as a battle ground for cultural authority and political legitimacy.
—William M. Tuttle, Jr., author of Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807844625
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 409,977
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

David Farber, professor of history at the University of New Mexico, is author of Chicago '68, The First Strange Place, and The Age of Great Dreams.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Growth Liberalism in the Sixties: Great Societies at Home and Grand Designs Abroad 11
2 The American State and the Vietnam War: A Genealogy of Power 45
3 And That's the Way It Was: The Vietnam War on the Network Nightly News 90
4 Race, Ethnicity, and the Evolution of Political Legitimacy 119
5 Nothing Distant about It: Women's Liberation and Sixties Radicalism 149
6 The New American Revolution: The Movement and Business 175
7 Who'll Stop the Rain? Youth Culture, Rock 'n' Roll, and Social Crises 206
8 Sexual Revolution(s) 235
9 The Politics of Civility 263
10 The Silent Majority and Talk about Revolution 291
Contributors 317
Index 319
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    Memorable Trip Down The Counterculture Road!

    Anyone who lived through the tumult of the 1960s will enjoy this history focusings on the recollections of a wide spectrium of people interviewed about their experiences and recollections of those turbulent times. Asking some provocative and thought-provoking open-style interview questions, the authors fashion together a fascinating and entertaining study that centers on the anecdotal reminiscences of ordianry people who lived through some interesting events ranging from the civil rights sit-in of the early years to participation in communes within the burgeoning counterculture. One of the most disarming aspects of the book is its willingness to let the respondents speak for themselves, which has the salutary effect of making the individual recollections come to life. In this sense the book both celebrates and rues the various events and historical events, most often through the common words and phrases of the people who were, in fact, eyewitnesses to almost everything they describe. Given the lack of such testimony relating to that era, it is indeed terrific to have it so recorded and systematically organized as it is here. Here we have it all, from activists in the anti-war movement to veterans from the same conflict, from denizens of the counterculture to those who remained within the more comfortable orbits of conventional mainstream societies. The reader will find absorbing information regarding everything from the feminist movement to gay pride, from student protest to the free speech movement. One finds almost every aspect of the sixties wondeully reconstructed and recalled here, so varied was the subject matter and tenor of the individual responses. This is an interesting book, and one anyone who lived through the times might well enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    Eclectic but readable

    This collection of essays about the 60s gives a workable overview of the topic. Robert Collins' essay on 'Growth Liberalism' was especially good and provides an understandable commentary on the economic problems created by President Johnson's 'guns and butter' dilemma with Vietnam and the Great Society programs. All the authors have attempted to present the 'history' of their various topics without resorting to emotionalism and invective. I recommed this work as a supplemental reading for undergraduate survey courses and for teachers desiring to 'bone up' on the 60s before facing a class.

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