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The Sixties: From Memory to History Paperback – September 16, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0807844625 ISBN-10: 0807844624 Edition: 1st

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The Sixties: From Memory to History + The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s (American Century Series) + "Takin' it to the streets": A Sixties Reader
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Editorial Reviews


The 1960s is now history; and in The Sixties eleven of America's brightest young historians engage such topics as the youth culture, sexuality, changing cultural identities, women's liberation, and the silent majority. In so doing, they brilliantly illuminate the decade as a battleground for cultural authority and political legitimacy.--William M. Tuttle, Jr., author of Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 and 'Daddy's Gone to War': The Second World War in the Lives of America's Children|Essential reading for anyone interested in the period. . . . No one can safely ignore the material in this major addition to literature on this decade, the meanings of which are still being contested both in scholarly media and the popular imagination.--Journal of American Culture|The Sixties is a superb collection. With luck it will serve as a catalyst for a new round of quality scholarship on the 1960s and early 1970s. Everyone interested in the era should have a copy.--History of Education Quarterly|A unique and necessary contribution to our understanding of the Sixties, one that should help wrench discussions away from the nostalgic realm where, even among academics, they have remained for far too long.--Robert A. Rosenstone, California Institute of Technology|A generally impressive volume of original essays on the 1960s. . . . These essays, taken as a whole, complicate our vision of the decade in interesting ways.--The Nation

About the Author

David Farber, professor of history at the University of New Mexico, is author of Chicago '68, The First Strange Place, and The Age of Great Dreams.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (September 16, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807844624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807844625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1996
Format: Paperback
For many of us born around 1960, the decade of the 60's may
be lost in the minds of our parents or those fortunate or
unfortunate to live through this challenging and exciting
era in American History. David Farber has done an excellent
job in assembling a collection of essays on various themes
from the sixties. (Liberalism,Vietnam,Civil Rights,Cultural
Revolution) Credit should also be given for the extensive,
if not exhaustive, notes at the end of each chapter. The
notes are filled with additional sources for the ambitious
reader to continue studying the sixties. Overall, a great
introduction to an important time period with excellent
pointers to additional sources..Kent H. Manno Morristown, NJ
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on February 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anyone who lived through the tumult of the 1960s will enjoy this history focusings on the recollections of a wide spectrium of people interviewed about their experiences and recollections of those turbulent times. Asking some provocative and thought-provoking open-style interview questions, the authors fashion together a fascinating and entertaining study that centers on the anecdotal reminiscences of ordianry people who lived through some interesting events ranging from the civil rights sit-in of the early years to participation in communes within the burgeoning counterculture. One of the most disarming aspects of the book is its willingness to let the respondents speak for themselves, which has the salutary effect of making the individual recollections come to life.
In this sense the book both celebrates and rues the various events and historical events, most often through the common words and phrases of the people who were, in fact, eyewitnesses to almost everything they describe. Given the lack of such testimony relating to that era, it is indeed terrific to have it so recorded and systematically organized as it is here. Here we have it all, from activists in the anti-war movement to veterans from the same conflict, from denizens of the counterculture to those who remained within the more comfortable orbits of conventional mainstream societies. The reader will find absorbing information regarding everything from the feminist movement to gay pride, from student protest to the free speech movement. One finds almost every aspect of the sixties wondeully reconstructed and recalled here, so varied was the subject matter and tenor of the individual responses. This is an interesting book, and one anyone who lived through the times might well enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Haak on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
My companion Amazon reviewers give the impression this book is mainly oral history, recollections, anecdotes, i.e., the "I was there" focus that Studs Terkel used so effectively in his books. Those do appear but they are supplementary to the hard edged HISTORICAL CONTEXT that is this book's highest priority, expressed as historical variables that determine the fate of aspirations. This attention to historical variables beyond the perceptions of actors is what's been lacking in so many books on the sixties.

"The cultural and political contests of the sixties emerged from an extraordinary social and economic crisis, from the breakdown of a seemingly stable system [of the fifties]. . . . . . . most of the rebels of the sixties wanted to make sense out of the same circumstances that confronted their political and cultural adversaries --- instability and social change within a society suffering from a bloody war overseas and from racial conflagration at home. . . . In the summer of 1967 alone, there were 90 killed, 4,000 wounded, and 70,000 arrested in America's inner cities." (p. 220). Bob Dylan and cohorts weren't the only ones responding to this social chaos and the dissolving of landmarks. Richard Nixon, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daily, blue color workers, middle classes fearful of inflation and myriads of other [conservative] factions were pulling levers in alarm, too, trying to define and cope with a tumultous decade. This book lays out all sides + the contexts that make sense of the wild collision of forces and the naive shadow boxing that accompanied it.

This book is an informed and unsentimental anthology edited by Farber. No book in my experience illuminates the decade with the fullness this book does.
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