Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism

Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism

Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism

Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism

Synopsis

The radicals and liberals of the 1960s expressed ideas that continue to both attract and repel people decades later. Nostalgia books relive the Woodstock festival and the protests; past Presidents Bush and Reagan remember the era with unease; and scholars skirmish over the meaning of the period. DeLeon is the first to provide information on activists of the period and their continued activities into the 1990s. With major sections on racial democracy, peace and freedom, sexuality and gender, the environment, radical culture, and visions of alternative societies, the book includes entries on a wide selection of nationally prominent personalities of the 1960s. In addition to those who dominated those years, the volume includes earlier activists who came into prominence in the 1960s and those who have come into the limelight since the 1960s. Each entry provides a biographical sketch, but the focus is on the person's basic concepts or the essence of his or her work and the public response it generated. The volume also includes extensive bibliographies on the individuals and the period.

Excerpt

The radicals and liberals of the 1960s expressed beliefs and emotions that continued to attract or repel people decades later. There were "nostalgia" books on the mammoth Woodstock festival of 1969 and the protests of the 1960s. Politicians like Ronald Reagan and George Bush, by contrast, remembered the ferment of the era with overall unease. Newspaper obituaries in 1989 painted the virtues and the vices of Abbie Hoffman, Huey Newton, I. F. Stone, and Michael Harrington. Memoirs like Tom Hayden Reunion (1988) received wide attention. Collections of readings have been published, such as The Sixties Papers (1984) and The 60s without Apology (1984). Skirmishes over the meaning of this period continued in politics, documentary films, the arts, and specialized university courses.

There has been no volume, however, which outlines what happened to many of the major activists of the 1960s through the 1970s and the 1980s, into the 1990s. Did their influence rise or fall? How did their goals, thoughts, and actions change? Had they continued to be radical, like Angela Davis, or liberal, like Ralph Nader? Had many become entrepreneurs like Jerry Rubin? Were the majority embittered, such as David Horowitz and Peter Collier? How many had become right-wing apologists like Eldridge Cleaver? This book provides information on a wide selection of nationally prominent activists of the 1960s.

The entries are grouped into broad categories for the general convenience of the reader, not because everyone fits into a neat box. Each section has a brief introduction that cites basic themes and provides some explanation why the individuals in that section were chosen. If an individual that is mentioned in the section introduction has an entry, there is an asterisk () after the name. For example, in Part One, "Racial Democracy," the section introduction mentions Louis Farrakhan (). If an individual can be found in one of the other . . .

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