The Movement and the Sixties

The Movement and the Sixties

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It began in 1960 with the Greensboro sit-ins. By 1973, when a few Native Americans rebelled at Wounded Knee and the U.S. Army came home from Vietnam, it was over. In between came Freedom Rides, Port Huron, the Mississippi Summer, Berkeley, Selma, Vietnam, the Summer of Love, Black Power, the Chicago Convention, hippies, Brown Power, and Women's Liberation--The Movement--in an era that became known as The Sixties. Why did millions of Americans become activists; why did they take to the streets? These are questions Terry Anderson explores in The Movement and The Sixties, a searching history of the social activism that defined a generation of young Americans and that called into question the very nature of "America." Drawing on interviews, "underground" manuscripts colleceted at campuses and archives throughout the nation, and many popular accounts, Anderson begins with Greensboro and reveals how one event built upon another and exploded into the kaleidoscope of activism by the early 1970s. Civil rights, student power, and the crusade against the Vietnam War composed the first wave of the movement, and during and after the rip tides of 1968, the movement changed and expanded, flowing into new currents of counterculture, minority empowerment, and women's liberation. The parades of protesters, along with schocking events--from the Kennedy assassination to My Lai--encouraged other citizens to question their nation. Was America racist, imperialist, sexist? Unlike other books on this tumultuous decade, The Movement and The Sixties is neither a personal memoir, nor a treatise on New Left ideology, nor a chronicle of the so-called leaders of the movement. Instead, it is a national history, a compelling and fascinating account of a defining era that remains a significant part of our lives more

Product details

  • Hardback | 523 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 50.8mm | 907.18g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195074092
  • 9780195074093

Review Text

Hundreds of voices resound in this thoroughgoing analysis of '60s radicalism. "If people demonstrate in a manner to interfere with others, they should be rounded up and put in a detention camp," argues Deputy Attorney General Richard Kleindienst in 1972. Abbie Hoffman, speaking shortly before his suicide in 1989, gleefully proclaims, "We were young, we were reckless, arrogant, silly, headstrong - and we were right. I regret nothing!" Novelist Philip Caputo recalls that in his worldview John F. Kennedy was a modern King Arthur, the officers of the Army his knights, and Vietnam the new Crusade. Rock lyrics, SDS slogans, and official pronouncements from the likes of Spiro Agnew, Richard Daley, and George Wallace also abound. But Anderson (History/Texas A&M Univ.; The United States, Great Britain, and the Cold War, not reviewed) brings order to the period's chaos in his rigorous account of the intellectual origins of modern dissent, tracing the baby-boom generation's involvement with the civil-rights and free-speech movements as the proving ground for what, after the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, would very nearly become civil war. The author skewers a system that sent so many impoverished minority youngsters to Southeast Asia ("of the 30,000 male graduates from Harvard, Princeton, and MIT in the decade following 1962, only 20 died in Vietnam") and condemns a national ethos that idolized Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun while imprisoning conscientious objectors. Clearly, for him the '60s are very much alive, and his passionate remembrance galvanizes the book. However, it suffers from occasional but annoying errors. Anderson misdates songs and truncates and mistransposes lyrics; he implies that musicians Mama Cass Elliot and Keith Moon died of drag overdoses (in fact, both suffered heart attacks); he places Fort Bliss (Texas) in New Jersey. Despite these lapses, a highly accessible survey that should be the standard for years to come. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Terry H. Anderson

About the author: Terry Anderson, a Vietnam veteran, is a Professor of History at Texas A&M University, and also has taught in Malaysia, Japan, and has received a Fulbright to China. He has written many articles on the 1960s and on the Vietnam War, and is the author of The United States, Great Britain and the Cold War, 1944-1947, and the co-author of A Flying Tiger's Diary (with fighter pilot Charles Bond, Jr.).show more

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147 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 23% (34)
4 40% (59)
3 31% (46)
2 5% (7)
1 1% (1)
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