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The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalism (American Radicals) Hardcover – February 5, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0415913850 ISBN-10: 0415913853

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Product Details

  • Series: American Radicals
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (February 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415913853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415913850
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,467,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Spirit of the Sixties is a moving and beautifully written analysis of how...the personal became political. -- American Studies
Farrell covers a lot of ground and covers it well... -- Social Anarchism
The Spirit of the Sixties is an important and unique addition to the historiography of the sixties. Farrell has produced a well-written, cogently argued, and insightful volume on that puzzling, pyrotechnic decade. -- Journal of American History
...original and compelling historical work. For anyone who wants to think hard about the meaning and practice of a politically engaged, morally-driven life, Farrell's elegantly written account of postwar radicalism will be a rewarding experience. -- American Quarterly
Of the many recent studies of social movements in the 1960s, James Farrell's is among the most insightful, original, and important. -- W. J. Rorabaugh, University of Washington, for H-Net Book Review
...this work remains an important andthought-provoking contribution to existing literature on the sixties. -- Michigan Historical Review
Because of its range as well as its illuminating motif, the book would be very useful in a number of college-level courses on twentieth-century America. -- Dale A. Johnson, Vanderbuilt University, in Religious Studies Review, April 2002

About the Author

James J. Farrell is Professor of History, Director of American Studies and Boldt Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities at St. Olaf College. He is the author of Inventing the American Way of Death and The Nuclear Devil's Dictionary.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mianfei on December 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The 1960s has traditionally been seen by such commentators as Pat Buchanan as the time when the West as it has been traditionally understood moved away from traditional culture towards a completely new one which Benjamin Wiker traces to the first-century-BC philosopher Lucretius and where Man rather than God and natural law is the judge of whether a practice is right or wrong. Under this system nature was mechanistic rather than sacramental and interference was pleasure was the basis of the "good life".

In contrast, Robert Inchausti and Rod Dreher argue that the 1960s was not nearly so anti-Christian as popularly thought and that many of the important heroes and heroines of the early counterculture were in fact highly conservative in their political and cultural outlook. In "The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalism", James J. Farrell looks at both perceptions of the 1960s counterculture and aims to relate all of them to a philosophy known as "personalism".
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Format: Paperback
Of course there are many studies of the 1960s to choose from, and many are very good. The longer reviewer on this site who has provoked me by writing about how Farrell overplays certain things and underplays others is thoughtful. But pretty much every book on the 1960s does a version of this, and there are plenty of strands of the 1960s that floundered in the 1970s and 1980s, not just personalism. This particular book is especially virtuous because it plays up things that tend to be downplayed too much in the historiography. It is on my top ten list for the most under-appreciated historical books on the 1960s.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
Farrell uses personalism to make sense of the 1960s. He describes the Catholic Workers, Beats, Student Movement, Counterculture, Anti-War movement, among others, as organizations rooted in the belief of personalism. Unfortunately his analysis is lacking in relation to women, since the womens's movement would greatly undermine his argument. Except for a small section in the back women are rarely mentioned. The fact that women organized due to the discrimination and subordination they felt within these movements as well as from society as a whole shows that their belief in the importance of the individual as well as group was selective. This fact puts some major holes in the arguement. Overall the book in enthralling, whether or not you agree with what he's saying it is a completely new way to look at the 1960s.
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The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalism (American Radicals)
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