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Framing the Sixties: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush Paperback – January 5, 2010
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"Framing the Sixties is a smart, important and impressively researched account of the decade that far too often is reduced to clichés by the left and the right. This book will be invaluable to anyone eager to know the real story behind the political and cultural consequences of that tumultuous time."―Tom Brokaw, author of Boom! Talking About the Sixties
"This fine book illustrates the truth of the maxim that history is what the present wants to know about the past. To understand why the meaning of the 1960s remains a critical matter for both conservatives and liberals, Bernard von Bothmer's careful study is the place to start."―Michael Kazin, co-author, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s
"No decade of recent U.S. history has been mythologized like the Sixties. Historian Bernard von Bothmer has done a marvelous job of setting the historical record straight in Framing the Sixties. Instead of relying on staid orthodoxy von Bothmer analyzes the spin factor irresponsibly promulgated by both right and left. A truly important and essential study."―Douglas Brinkley, author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War
"The Sixties: Ronald Reagan cherry-picked what he wanted and used the rest as a reason to oppose government; George H. W. Bush condensed them into the 'Vietnam Syndrome' that he used for another war; Bill Clinton ran parallel to the decade for political safety; George W. Bush twisted the Sixties to defeat one of its iconic figures, John Kerry. These framings, richly sourced for us with interviews with high-level Republicans and Democrats and speeches archived in presidential libraries, will be the crown jewel in syllabi for Sixties courses."―Jerry Lembcke, author of Hanoi Jane: War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal
"This is a smartly written work on the political uses and misuses of history. . . . An excellent analysis. Essential."―Choice
"Provides a fine winning account of a decade of U. S. history. . . . College-level American history collections strong in political and social analysis need this."―Midwest Book Review
"With the advent of popular 24/7 cable news channels, Americans have become even more addicted to the news than ever before. Depending on one's age, however, one is likely to perceive it in different ways. For the political junky, there is a very interesting look at the 1960s and how it shaped politics. . . . With a historian's precision the author shows how that decade and the one that followed shaped the nation's political choices."―Bookviews by Alan Caruba
"Von Bothmer details numerous overgeneralizations, misstatements of facts, and revised personal biographies as politicians adjust their ideas and past actions to modern political trends."―Journal of American History
"Sharply argued, provocative, and accessible, Framing the Sixties is destined to find a place on the bookshelves of scholars and in the syllabi of courses dealing with the presidency, public memory, and the 1960s."―Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
About the Author
Bernard von Bothmer teaches American history at the University of San Francisco and at Dominican University of California.
Top customer reviews
As von Bothmer reveals, politicians have continually resurrected feelings about the sixties to associate themselves with "good" events while encumbering their opponents with all things "bad". He also shows how partisan accounts of this period diverge from the facts. This book is timely, as the facts of history and science are under increasing attacks. It will make a great gift for my friends and relatives.
Just as one can write remarkably well about the Roman Empire not having lived through it, Professor von Bothmer has written remarkably well about an era he has studied and dissected. He proves that the decade is still very much alive in today's political world and he really explains how and why.
His objective point of view is powerful in that he doesn't try to influence the reader. He states facts and quotes in a highly readable form. While this reviewer will abstain from giving out personal opinions of those turbulent years, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to remember some of the details or understand the influence many of the events had on those who are today's grown-ups.
This is a great book. I was right in the middle of it all (Columbia, 1968)but this book gave me a larger perspective and understanding to all of the events that swirlled around me. The basic point that this period shaped much of our political history since then (and still does) is right on the money. As a bonus, von Bothmer's lively use of primary sources and fluid writing style makes Framing the Sixties an enjoyable read. I recommend it to all, but especially anyone who was around in these times.
The author interviewed over one hundred and twenty of the key players of recent American history to support his thesis, and it makes for particularly gripping reading for anyone who has lived through this period. This is not a dry college history book, and some basic knowledge of the period is essential. Rather, it teaches the reader how history is not "set in stone" but molded like clay, often in devious ways by the "spin doctors" of our era. The discussion of how the modern conservative movement has fostered a negative view of the sixties to further its ends is particularly compelling. The footnoting is meticulous, but the writing is snappy enough that this would make a great audio book, or set of recorded lectures.
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