What They Didn't Teach You about the 60s

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Overview

In the latest addition to his critically acclaimed What They Didn't Teach You series, author Mike Wright tackles the decade in which America changed forever, for better and for worse. The 60s were so recent that even if you are part of a post-baby-boom generation and didn't live through them, you feel like you did. Yet, the 60s ended over thirty years ago. Upon close examination, memories of those halcyon days, which seem so picture-perfect in our mind's eye, have acquired the ...
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Overview

In the latest addition to his critically acclaimed What They Didn't Teach You series, author Mike Wright tackles the decade in which America changed forever, for better and for worse. The 60s were so recent that even if you are part of a post-baby-boom generation and didn't live through them, you feel like you did. Yet, the 60s ended over thirty years ago. Upon close examination, memories of those halcyon days, which seem so picture-perfect in our mind's eye, have acquired the patina, and dust, of history.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A compendium-style history of the 1960s that searches for obscure facts and convergences from that tumultuous decade. Chicago-based writer Wright continues his What They Didn't Teach You series (. . . About the Wild West, 2000, etc.) by looking for commonalities among the diverse figures and movements of the '60s. He begins shrewdly by assessing the "sleepy" America of the '50s, finding that, in fact, major sources of future foment originated there (e.g., the civil-rights movement, trouble in Indochina and Cuba, and rock'n'roll). John Kennedy's slim 1960 victory over Nixon seems a precursor to the decade's prominent liberalism: JFK appointed a black astronaut and sometimes met with reporters in his boxer shorts. While Wright does not delve deeply into popular conspiracy theories regarding the killings of Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., he acknowledges that these tragedies, and the violence brought to bear on civil-rights workers like Medgar Evers and against antiwar protesters, hardened the positions of everyone concerned, as evinced by police violence against Yippie provocateurs at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and by radical-left bombing campaigns. Although the author bemusedly depicts the wacky excesses of "Baby Boomer" youth, he ignores how their self-indulgence ushered in a 30-year "backlash" of American conservatism. Like many commentators, Wright is left wondering about the big picture: "The sixties were Highway 80, between Selma and Montgomery. Sit-ins at Berkeley and Columbia. Fighting in Da Nang . . . the burning cities of Newark and Detroit." He's a colorful writer and adept researcher, but this volume lacks the spark of his earlier, more historically rooted works. Andmany of the stories herein, such as that of the revered Haight-Ashbury scene, have had their drama diluted over and over by now. Solely for neophytes of the "long, strange trip."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780891417248
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/1901
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chronology
A Sixties Prelude: The Fifties
1 TV or Not TV: That Is the Message 1
2 Culture Shock: "The Times They Are A-Changin'" 17
3 Burn, Baby, Burn: The Riots of Summer 38
4 Battles Won: Civil Rights 48
5 Battles Tied: The Cold War 80
6 Battles Lost: Vietnam 88
7 Shots Ring Out: JFK, RFK, and MLK 125
8 The Generation Gap: Old at Thirty 179
9 The Americanization of Richard Nixon: "I'm Not a Crook" 224
10 Cuba: Island Paradise? 230
11 Music, Music, Music: All That Rock 248
12 Sixties Women: Beyond the Pill 257
13 High Ole Times: "Blowing in the Wind" 276
14 The Final Frontier: One Small Step 295
15 This Old House: Childhood's End 309
A Sixties Hangover: The Seventies 323
Epilogue 339
Bibliography 342
Index 353
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2002

    good trivia book

    What They Didn't Teach You about the 60's is a good book to get to know about the 60's even if you didn't live in that era. The author Mike Wright, did a good job of talking everything a person might need to know about either the knowlege of facts you need to know or the useless facts you can tell people. He covers everything from sports to fashion to the government. It gave me infomation I didn't know about '60's cars, baseball stats,and many other things. So if you want to learn more of the sixites if you lived it or not then you should read this book.

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