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What was it like to live through the Sixties? The writers of these 27 memoirs offer the essence of life and youth in the period. In first-person narratives that range from poignant reminiscences to dramatic adventures, the writers convey what it felt like to land a helicopter in the middle of a firefight in Vietnam, to be beaten and jailed for trying to integrate restaurants in the American South, to run for cover when soldiers opened fire on a campus peace rally in Ohio. Other stories describe the writers' experiences organizing farm workers with Cesar Chavez, campaigning to elect Barry Goldwater, striking for Free Speech at Berkeley, living in a commune, joining the women's liberation movement, becoming caught up in a religious cult, or camping in the rain at Woodstock.
Karen Manners Smith and Tim Koster, the editors of "Time it Was," created this book to make the Sixties accessible and alive for today's students, who may know only that the period was unique and exciting, but have few resources to help them see beyond the stereotypical “sex and drugs and rock-n-roll.” The editors felt there was a lot that today's students could identify with--idealism, commitment, risk, hard work, fear, hope, disappointment--if they could read the stories of people who, at their age, did important things with their own lives during a volatile historical period.
The stories in “Time it Was” focus on events and experiences consistent with the "Sixties" as historians understand that term--i.e., it is broadly interpreted to include a span of years from the 1950s through the mid-1970s. Readers who are not students will enjoy the chance to reconnect with their own memories or learn more about this important period in American history.
Wayne Coe: “Blackhawk Five Four”
Episodes in the life of a U.S. helicopter pilot
Paul Coe: “Letters Home”
A draftee writes to his family from Vietnam
Leah O’Leary: “The GIs Called Us Donut Dollies”
A Red Cross volunteer in Vietnam
Tim Koster: “United States Blues”
The Draft Lottery and an unlucky birthday
Ngoc Quang Huynh: “A Life in Flight”
Escaping post-war Vietnam
II. Struggles for Social Justice
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons: “Mama Told Me Not to Go”
Working with SNCC in Mississippi, Freedom Summer 1964
Raymond Hubbard: “Deep in the Heart”
Growing up black in the Jim Crow South
Sara Evans: “Not My Mother’s Path”
A historian traces her journey to Women’s Liberation
Toby Marotta: “Students of Stonewall”
Encountering the militant Gay Liberation movement
Yolanda Retter Vargas: “Sisterhood is Possible”
The life of a feminist Latina lesbian.
Johnny Flynn: “Something in the Wind”
Spiritual renewal in the American Indian Movement.
Tom Collins: “Hope House”
Volunteer tutoring with Upward Bound, 1965-1966
John Manners: “The Peace Corps: Kenya, 1968-1972”
Teaching school in Africa
Jim Fadiman: “Opening the Doors of Perception”
Psychedelics and research in the Sixties
Steve Diamond: “Back to the Land”
A search for simplicity and spiritual health
Karen Smith: “The Process”
Five years in a New Age religious cult
IV. Conservative Currents
John Werlich: Born on the Fourth of July
The making of a conservative
Robert Poole: Libertarian Awakening
Campus conservative movements and the 1964 “Goldwater for President” campaign
Ron McCoy: “It Ain’t Me Babe: Working for Richard Nixon”
An insider’s view of Richard Nixon’s 1968 Republican presidential campaign.
Gerald Scott: “War on Drugs: A View From the Trenches”
Undercover in the DEA
V. Landmark Events
Pat Royse: “Fire in the Streets”
Reporting on the Cleveland Riots, July 1966.
Tara Gordon: “Chicago ‘68”
Innocence and violence at the Democratic Convention.
Sheila Lennon: “Three Days of Peace and Music”
Remembering the Woodstock Concert, 1969
Carole Barbato and Laura Davis “Ordinary Lives: May 4, 1970”
Two students recall the shootings at Kent State
VI. Speaking Out
Jackie Goldberg: “Sit Down! Sit Down!”
The Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley
Maria and Antonia Saludado: “Standing With Cesar”
Women in the United Farm Workers Movement
Sam Lovejoy: “Somebody’s Got to Do It”
Anti-Nuclear Activism and Civil Disobedience