The 1960s Cultural Revolution

By John C. McWilliams | Go to book overview

Preface

The sixties. Few eras in American history evoke such diverse and conflicting images of the human experience. The sixties rarely fail to conjure up recollections of outrageous behavior, rebellion, anti-authoritarianism, and social and sexual experimentation--in short, a world turned upside down. Freedom Riders, Free Speech, and Freedom Summer. Teach-ins, "be-ins," and "love-ins. " March to Selma or March on the Pentagon. We could drop out or sit in. Little wonder that our knowledge and comprehension of the "real" sixties are so muddled. Sometimes when I think about how anguish and anxiety coexisted with "peace and love" in the 1960s, I wonder if history was winking at us. Not that the sixties were all ballyhoo years. Surely much of what happened was very serious, as were the people and events who shaped the era, but certain events nearly defied credibility.

We are now because of what we were then. That is, an individual is the sum product of cumulative experiences. As one of the original baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1950), I am a product of the 1960s. My coming of age occurred during one of the most eventful, volatile, and sometimes terrifying eras in American history. And I missed it. At least it feels that way. I lived through it, but I--like most of my fellow boomers, I suspect--was not attuned to the day's headlines and certainly not actively involved in the day's events. I was mostly oblivious to the "Negro problem" in Mississippi, the discriminatory inconsistencies of the draft, and the three days of "peace and music" at Woodstock. Growing up in a small town in north-central Pennsylvania, I lived in a quasi-cultural vacuum, safely tucked away and insulated from real-world problems. I could identify Roger Maris, Mickey

-xiii-

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The 1960s Cultural Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Other Titles in the Greenwood Press Guides To Historic Events of the Twentieth Century ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Advisory Board vi
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Chronology of Events xvii
  • Bibliography xxxvii
  • 1 - Historical Overview 1
  • Notes 23
  • 2 - The New Left and The End of Consensus 27
  • Notes 42
  • 3 - Give Peace a Chance: The Antiwar Movement 47
  • Notes 61
  • 4 - Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out: The Counterculture 65
  • Notes 79
  • 5 - Legacy of the 1960s Cultural Revolution 83
  • Notes 98
  • Biographies - The Personalities Behind the Cultural Revolution 101
  • Primary Documents of The Cultural Revolution 127
  • Glossary of Selected Terms 161
  • Annotated Bibliography 165
  • Index 175
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