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II. The Sixties

II. The Sixties
Adelson
,
Alan
.
SDS: A Profile
.
New York
:
Scribner’s
,
1972
.
An SDS member’s sympathetic history of the late-sixties radical heyday of the movement, beginning with the Columbia University occupation in 1968; less well known and also less critical of SDS than Kirkpatrick Sale’s SDS, which is considered the definitive history of the organization. Adelson, writing in 1971, assumes that SDS will regroup and prevail as a less violent, more worker-oriented organization. This book reflects the optimism of some surviving remnants of SDS in the very early seventies
.
Albert
,
Judith Clavir
, and
Albert
Stew
, eds.
The Sixties Papers
.
New York
:
Praeger
,
1985
.
A useful collection of original New Left and countercultural documents
.
Anderson
,
Terry H.
The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
1995
.
A balanced, detailed, responsible account, incorporating a great deal of important archival material, of the major events and people of the sixties radical movements, from the Civil Rights lunchroom sit-ins starting in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960, to the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. Anderson’s narrative, though admirably complex in its understanding of how the history of the sixties unfolded through the chronological impact of specific historical events, follows the usual structure of hopeful rise followed by cataclysmic fall. Despite the nascent politics of subjectivity crucial to the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and to feminism, Anderson insists that his defining term, “activist,” is “free,” as he puts it, of race and gender
.
Banes
,
Sally
.
Greenwich Village 1963: Avant-Garde Performance and the Effervescent Body
.
Durham
:
Duke University Press
,
1993
.
An important, persuasive case for the crucial impact of the early-sixties Greenwich Village avant-garde renaissance (rather than the Beats, as Russell Jacoby argues in The Last Intellectuals) on the subsequent formation of the counterculture. Covering a wide range of what we now call performance art, Banes also argues that this avant-garde, which she dates from 1963, had a historical significance comparable to the Civil Rights march on Washington of the same year. The crucial link between the two is democratization, which itself gives the avant-garde direct political significance and ramifications. Banes also argues that the avant-garde’s primary commitment to democracy made it postmodern rather than modernist, and in fact itself marked the end of the modernist avant-gardes and the inception of postmodernism
.
Bayles
,
Martha
.
Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music
.
New York
:
Free Press
,
1994
.
As its title indicates, this book views sixties rock music as the pinnacle of the genre, and post-sixties popular music as not just a decline from, but a totally vitiating destruction and selling-out of, rock and roll
.
Bates
,
Tom
.
Rads: A True Story of the End of the Sixties
.
New York
:
HarperCollins
,
1992
.
Bates narrates, primarily through the story of the bomber Karl Armstrong, a detailed history of the bombing of the Army Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1970 as characteristic of the violent culmination and demise of sixties radicalism. Despite its sympathy for earlier, less violent phases of the movement, this narrative focuses primarily on the deluded destructiveness of the movement’s final violent phase
.
Berman
,
Paul
.
A Tale of Two Utopias: The Political Journey of the Generation of 1968
.
New York
:
Norton
,
1996
.
A fairly optimistic reading of sixties utopianism (which Berman sees as a convergence of cultural, spiritual, and political movements) as reemerging in the more liberal-democratic “utopianism” (I would call it progressive rather than utopian) anticommunist revolutions of 1989
.
Braunstein
,
Peter
, and
Doyle
Michael William
, eds.
Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2002
.
An excellent anthology, emphasizing the complex, pervasive interrelations of the sixties countercultures with radical politics. Topics include the connection of the drug culture with radical defiance of oppressive laws; the connection between the “consciousness expansion” of the drug culture and the “consciousness raising” of feminism; the two-pronged “assault on the culture” represented by the counterculture and radical politics; identity politics across countercultural and radical political movements; countercultural art practices as self-consciously politically radical; communalism and environmentalism as simultaneously countercultural and radical political movements
.
Breines
,
Wini
.
Community and Organization in the New Left, 1962–1968: The Great Refusal
.
1982
.
New Brunswick
:
Rutgers University Press
,
1989
.
Breines uses Marcuse’s crucial formulation of the “Great Refusal” to make a powerful, detailed argument contrasting the anarchic, antihierarchical, communal, participatory-democratic, diverse, inclusive, utopian structure of local community organizations in the New Left, which she considers largely successful, with the centralized, bureaucratic, hierarchical, white male organization of national SDS, which, as she sees it, ultimately doomed the movement to failure
.
Burner
,
David
.
Making Peace with the 60s
.
Princeton
:
Princeton University Press
,
1996
.
Burner attributes the failure of the sixties political and cultural movements to unnecessary conflict between groups with similar goals, groups that might have formed productive alliances and achieved progressive agendas. Instead, the Civil Rights movement was split against itself into integrationist and Black Power factions, left liberalism was drowned out by the radical left, and peaceful, nonviolent antiwar groups were at cross-purposes with an increasingly radical, violent Marxist-Leninism (evidently, Burner prefers Civil Rights, left liberalism and nonviolent antiwar groups)
.
Buzzanco
,
Robert
.
Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life
.
Oxford
:
Blackwell
,
1998
.
A clear, straightforward account both of the history of the Vietnam War and the crucial role of the antiwar movement in generating a wide range of radical transformations in American politics and culture
.
Carmichael
,
Stokeley
, and
Hamilton
Charles V.
.
Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America
.
New York
:
Vintage
,
1967
.
An influential polemic for the Black Power movement by one of its most charismatic and visible advocates
.
Collier
,
Peter
, and
Horowitz
David
, eds.
Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts about the Sixties
.
New York
:
Summit Books
,
1989
.
This collection, which includes pieces by Todd Gitlin and Kirkpatrick Sale as well as by the editors, attacks what it sees as the self-destructive, self-deluded megalomania and violence of sixties radicals and theorists, and the fall into post-sixties cultural and identity politics. It is characteristic of the widespread current backlash against the sixties and repudiation of sixties politics by many former activists. See also Gitlin’s The Twilight of Common Dreams
.
Star
Dark
, ed.
Beneath the Paving Stones: Situationists and the Beach, May 1968
.
Oakland, Calif.
:
AK Press
,
2001
.
A collection of key Situationist writings, such as “On the Poverty of Student Life” by Mustapha Khayati, a broadside that played a key role in May ’68, and “The Totality for Kids” by Raoul Vaneigem, a précis of world history, from hunter-gatherer culture to the coming revolution of 1968, premised not just on repudiation of the society of the spectacle but also on the new social movements, particularly feminism, Black Power, and third world liberation movements, as well as workers’ movements
.
Dickstein
,
Morris
.
Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties
.
1977
.
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
1997
.
A definitive, classic text, still unsurpassed in the breadth, subtlety, detail, and penetration of its analyses of the counterculture, beginning with the Beats and the eruption out of fifties complacency, and moving through the absurdist humor of the early sixties, to the new journalism, the Black Arts movement, rock music, and experimental fiction. Dickstein sees the sixties cultural movements as participating in the great American utopian tradition (hence the title), become secular, Romantic, modernist and avant-garde in its particular origins, and eclectic in its sixties manifestations (his emphasis on sixties utopianism is obviously crucial here). He also argues that the great Romantic socialism of the sixties was destroyed by militant violence by the end of the decade
.
Dickstein
,
Morris
.
Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945–1970
.
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
2002
.
Here Dickstein, focusing especially on the horrors of the war as motive for resistance against fifties conformism, on black-influenced fifties rock and roll, on the influence of existentialism, on the Beats, on black, Jewish, and gay writers, and on Norman Mailer, argues for the importance of subversive, oppositional postwar works of the late forties and the fifties in preparing the ground for the radical cultural and political changes of the sixties
.
Diggins
,
John Patrick
.
The Rise and Fall of the American Left
.
1973
.
New York
:
Norton
,
1992
.
A useful, judicious introductory overview of the history of the American left in the twentieth century. Diggins’s analysis of the demise of the New Left focuses on its failure to connect with the potential radicalism of the working class, a failure that he considers characteristic of the repeated failures of left radical movements in the twentieth century
.
Echols
,
Alice
.
Shaky Ground: The Sixties and Its Aftershocks
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
,
2002
.
A collection of essays by the author of the groundbreaking history of the myriad groups and ideologies that made up early second-wave radical feminism, Daring to Be Bad. Echols sustains her advocacy of the radical force of popular cultural practices in this collection, attributing genuine transformative power to (generally American) countercultural movements, particularly in rock music. Echols champions postmodern developments in popular culture that she sees emerging from elements of the sixties counterculture
.
Farber
,
David
.
The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s
.
New York
:
Hill and Wang
,
1994
.
Farber is one of the most influential, important recent historians of the sixties. His argument here—presented in a highly readable, historically responsible narrative—as the title indicates, is that the sixties represented the culmination of American power and prosperity, based on capitalism’s unceasing “creative destruction” of the old and invention of the new. Nonetheless, the history of the sixties is ultimately tragic, because the great dreams were defeated, both by the self-destructive violence of the radicals and also by the crushing forces of the right: Nixon, the FBI, COINTELPRO, the backlash in general. Yet, politics and culture changed for the better, overall, as a result of the sixties movements
.
Farber
,
David
. ed.
The Sixties: From Memory to History
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
1994
.
This useful collection of essays by major writers on the sixties, including Alice Echols, one of the most important historians of second-wave feminism; Terry H. Anderson, author of The Movement and the Sixties; George Lipsitz, who has written extensively about popular culture; and Farber himself, among others, covers a wide range of key sixties movements, issues, and events: liberalism, Vietnam, race and ethnicity, feminism, the counterculture, the sexual revolution, the changes in business (capitalism, as I would describe it), and the right-wing reaction. In his introduction, Farber presents the thesis he develops in Age of Great Dreams: that the sixties transformed the nature and criteria of “cultural authority and political legitimacy” (1), and that the period was dominated by progressive liberalism but was also a “seedbed” (4) for right-wing reaction
.
Fink
,
Carole
,
Gassert
Philipp
, and
Junker
Detlef
, eds.
1968: The World Transformed
.
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1998
.
A thoughtful, sophisticated collection of scholarly essays, mostly on the West German left in the late sixties (with 1968 as the paradigmatic, emblematic, as well as literally crucial year for European radicals), but also on sixties radicalism in a range of other countries, including the United States, Czechoslovakia, China, Poland, France, Italy, East Germany, Spain, and Israel. These essays focus on international political networks and formations, emphasizing the concertedly global nature of sixties political radicalism
.
Frank
,
Thomas
.
The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
1997
.
Frank sees the rapid absorption of hippie styles, and of the counterculture in general, into American consumerism, business practices, and particularly advertising culture not as cooptation but rather as sympathetic rebellion on the part of like-minded, flexible, freewheeling businessmen, mostly of the same generation as the counterculture itself. This argument does not appeal to postmodern theory but is congruent with certain postmodern arguments about the subversion-from-within that characterizes the critical postmodern relation to consumer culture
.
Frank
,
Thomas
.
One Market under God
.
New York
:
Doubleday
,
2000
.
In this more recent book, Frank is much more critical of, and pessimistic about, post-sixties entrepreneurial capitalism than he was in The Conquest of Cool. He sees ex-hippie entrepreneurs, in the name of antigovernmental populism (for example, in the celebration of the unregulated Internet), betraying and vitiating liberal values of active government
.
Fukuyama
,
Francis
.
The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order
.
New York
:
Free Press
,
1999
.
This conservative theorist sees the radical and countercultural movements and events of the sixties, as is evident in his title, in an entirely negative light, as a “great disruption” of American moral fiber and civic and family values. However, Fukuyama believes that since human beings are genetically hardwired to restore order, we will recover completely from this great disruption, and the order of capitalist culture and the patriarchal nuclear family will be restored
.
Gitlin
,
Todd
.
The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
.
New York
:
Bantam Books
,
1987
.
Gitlin’s are among the best, most influential books on the sixties. Like so many other comprehensive works on the sixties, this book narrates a trajectory of the powerful emergence of a new American left, which destroyed itself— “imploded,” in Gitlin’s term—in the late sixties, defeated by its own violence and the contradictions of its communal and individualistic agendas. Gitlin’s work is eloquent, penetrating, intelligent, deeply insightful; it gives a vivid, accurate account of the experience of sixties radicalism
.
Gitlin
,
Todd
.
The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by the Culture Wars
.
New York
:
Henry Holt
,
1995
.
Here Gitlin, now almost entirely disenchanted with the sixties, attacks the excesses of the radical left and counterculture, blaming them for the defeat of the American left, for the backlash, and for the destructive, virulent divisions of the culture wars
.
Gitlin
,
Todd
.
The Whole World Is Watching
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1980
.
A brilliant, highly influential book on the role of the mass media in the construction of the radical New Left in the sixties. Gitlin gives a nuanced, complex account of the ways in which mass media vied with and, by the mid-sixties, largely displaced the underground media of the New Left, which represented activism from its own point of view. Mass media both manipulated the left and created its own version of it, focusing on, and therefore empowering, militant, flamboyant, white male celebrities
.
Hall
,
James C.
Mercy, Mercy Me: African-American Culture and the American Sixties
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2001
.
Hall characterizes the most significant attribute of black cultural production in the sixties (the “Second Black Renaissance”) as what he calls its “antimodernism.” By this he means not postmodernism but rather a critique of and skepticism toward liberal narratives of American progress. He assembles an eclectic group of cultural producers to make this argument, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Robert Hayden, Paule Marshall, William Demby, John Coltrane, and Romare Bearden
.
Hobsbawm
,
Eric
.
The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914–1991
.
New York
:
Pantheon Books
,
1994
.
A brilliant and highly useful short history of the post–World War I twentieth century, which presents the sixties as both the culmination of the “golden age” of mid-twentieth-century prosperity and progress, and also as its downfall, through strains on, and generated by, global capitalist development and revolutions of rising expectation
.
Hersch
,
Charles
.
Democratic Artworks: Politics and the Arts from Trilling to Dylan
.
Albany
:
State University of New York Press
,
1998
.
Hersch analyzes the often complex, subtle democratizing impact of characteristic cultural productions of the sixties, arguing against conservative cultural critics, notably those most closely associated with the culture wars, such as Allan Bloom and Hilton Kramer, who attack sixties cultural production as either anarchic or solipsistic
.
Howard
,
Gerald
, ed.
The Sixties: The Art, Attitudes, Politics and Media of Our Most Explosive Decade
.
New York
:
Marlowe
,
1995
.
A collection of excerpts from major sixties writings, both political and cultural, useful as an introduction to the sixties for a new generation totally unfamiliar with it. The selection of texts is apt, including, among others, excerpts from Paul Goodman, C. Wright Mills, Herbert Marcuse, Michael Harrington, James Baldwin, Eldridge Cleaver, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Norman O. Brown, R. D. Laing. Howard also includes a selection from Morris Dickstein’s classic work on the sixties, Gates of Eden
.
Isserman
,
Maurice
, and
Kazin
Michael
.
America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
2000
.
Isserman, author as well of the excellent history of the left leading up to the sixties, If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left, is one of the most important historians of the radical American tradition; Kazin is a distinguished historian of populism and earlier labor movements. America Divided is one of the best recent books on the sixties. Narrating the cultural as well as the political history of the period, with both rich detail and a powerful overview, Isserman and Kazin emphasize the right-wing forces continually at war with radicalism and the counterculture, not just in the wake of the sixties but throughout the period. This is a crucial, insufficiently emphasized fact of the complex political and cultural dynamics of the sixties. Isserman and Kazin also include a useful chronology and bibliographical essay
.
Jacoby
,
Russell
.
The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy
.
New York
:
Basic Books
,
1999
.
Continuing the attack on the bankruptcy of contemporary intellectual and cultural life he undertook in The Last Intellectuals (New York: Basic Books, 1982), Jacoby laments the demise of utopia as the demise of political activism and engagement
.
Jeffords
,
Susan
.
The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War
.
Bloomington
:
Indiana University Press
,
1989
.
In this extremely useful, important, intelligent book, with which I agree entirely, Jeffords argues that the violent defeats of the Vietnam War, encompassing the necessity for masculine bonding and the abjection of defeat as feminized, “remasculinized” American masculinity, away from the gentler, androgynous, nonviolent styles promulgated by the counterculture, and toward the hypermasculine machismo prevalent in post-sixties American culture
.
Kaiser
,
Charles
.
1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation
.
New York
:
Grove Press
,
1988
.
A celebratory, fairly nostalgic twentieth-anniversary book, reminding us of the triumphs of the sixties counterculture, most notably those of rock music, focusing particularly, appropriately enough, on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan
.
Kimball
,
Roger
.
The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America
.
New York
:
Encounter Books
,
2000
.
Quite simply, the conservative Kimball believes that sixties radical politics and countercultures completely and irreparably destroyed every facet of American political, social, and cultural life
.
Macedo
,
Stephen
, ed.
Reassessing the Sixties: Debating the Political and Cultural Legacy
.
New York
:
Norton
,
1997
.
Despite an attempt at balance, and despite the presence in it of some arguments at least partly sympathetic to the legacies of the sixties, notably by Todd Gitlin, Martha Nussbaum, and Cass Sunstein, this volume, with a foreword by George F. Will and essays by a number of right-wing writers, most notably Alan Wolfe, comes down heavily on the anti-sixties side of the culture wars
.
Marcus
,
Greil
.
Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes
.
New York
:
Henry Holt
,
1997
.
Although this book focuses on one sixties figure, Bob Dylan, and one crucial rock group, The Band, it qualifies as a general book on the sixties because Marcus makes a very large claim for The Basement Tapes, recorded by Dylan and The Band in 1967 (and released in 1975, though much bootlegged in the intervening years) as a quintessential production of the sixties as high point of American populist culture
.
Marwick
,
Arthur
.
The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c. 1958–c. 1974
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
1998
.
Marwick’s enormous (nearly 900 pages) book provides a useful, detailed comparative analysis of sixties politics and culture in four major national locations; the majority of books on the sixties focus primarily on the United States or on other single countries. Marwick has a strong bias against both political and cultural radicals. His thesis is that utopian radicalism came to a destructive, self-destructive dead end, but that sixties “moderates” had an enormous impact, mostly for the good, on post-sixties culture and politics. He uses the odd term of opprobrium “Marxisant” to denounce the political left, while praising establishment moderates, particularly entrepreneurs, who incorporated sixties changes into a more flexible, tolerant, open, diverse democratic capitalism. Marwick’s analysis casts in a favorable light what analysts on the left consider the cooptation and neutralization of sixties cultural and political radicalism by a triumphant consumer capitalism
.
Mension
,
Jean-Michel
.
The Tribe
.
San Francisco
:
City Lights
,
2001
.
A collection of interviews with Mension, who was closely involved with the Situationist International, a characteristic radical political-countercultural sixties group in France, including extensive documentation of Situationist writings, advocating revolution through total withdrawal from and revision of the capitalist culture of the “society of the spectacle,” as well as photos of actions and of Guy Debord, the leader of the group (Debord’s Society of the Spectacle was its inspiration and key manifesto). This book is most useful as documentation of the activities of the Situationists, rather than as analysis of its ideologies or impact
.
Miller
,
James
.
“Democracy Is in the Streets”: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago
.
New York
:
Touchstone
,
1987
.
One of the most important, intelligent, useful histories of the New Left, filled with enlightening interviews and careful investigation of historical archival materials. SDS’s 1962 Port Huron Statement is at the heart of Miller’s argument. He begins with Port Huron, the hopeful, promising articulation of participatory democracy as a revitalized ideology for a new democratic American left, and moves through the increasing radicalism of the New Left to its violent demise. Miller argues that the New Left undervalued The Port Huron Statement, and participatory democracy in general; as a result, the movement was destroyed by the violence of the hard-line Marxist-Leninists
.
Miller
,
James
.
Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947–1977
.
New York
:
Simon and Schuster
,
1999
.
Primarily a narrative of the rise and triumph of rock and roll, but also a narrative of its rise and fall, tracing its early blossoming, through black music conjoined with white rebels and businessmen, through its great heyday in the sixties, again conjoining white rebels with mass-marketing geniuses, focusing primarily on Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead, to its destruction in the late seventies by the bland manipulations and packaging of the mass market and by the destructive triumph of the ressentiment of the violent adolescent. Miller’s notes contain extremely useful references to particular works on the central figures of rock he discusses, their discographies, as well as references to some general works on rock, drugs, and the counterculture in the American and British sixties; of the latter, as Miller says (I generally agree), Tom Wolfe’s 1968 Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, his brilliant narrative of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their bus, and of their involvement, featuring Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, in the drug and rock counterculture in its San Francisco heyday (the loss of which Hunter Thompson laments in Fear and Loathing), “remains one of the great pieces of Sixties reportage” and “is a tour de force of subtle moral commentary” (385)
.
Miller
,
Stephen Paul
.
The Seventies Now: Culture as Surveillance
.
Durham
:
Duke University Press
,
1999
.
Miller locates the defeat of the idealistic, broad-based, grassroots, egalitarian democratic goals associated with sixties activism in the seventies turn inward, which he associates particularly with the current culture of total surveillance, both external and internal, through a variety of governmental and cultural institutions, including the pervasive self-scrutiny enforced by dominant consumer culture
.
Patterson
,
James T.
Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
1996
.
One of the most important and useful recent histories of post–World War II America, focusing on the rising, and unprecedentedly fulfilled, expectations that enabled and largely produced the utopian radical movements of the sixties. In nearly 800 pages, with a wealth of detail and incisive analysis, Patterson moves steadily toward the defeat of the sixties movements, particularly Civil Rights and the antiwar movements, by the backlashes they generated
.
Powers
,
Thomas
.
The War at Home: Vietnam and the American People, 1964–1968
.
New York
:
Grossman Publishers
,
1973
.
One of the most important of the early books on the antiwar movement, still impressive in its argument and documentation (as I note in chapter 12, it would be impossible to credit the hundreds and hundreds of books and essays on Vietnam; Powers’s work stands out for me as one of the most effective and cogent of these, eloquent in its immediacy). Powers’s thesis is that the antiwar movement was successful in ending America’s involvement in the war, despite radicals’ feelings of defeat and futility during the period Powers covers
.
Reich
,
Charles A.
The Greening of America
.
1970
.
New York
:
Crown Publishers
,
1995
.
One of the most influential popularizations of New Left and countercultural ideologies, particularly the hippie ideology of a “new consciousness,” for the mass market of mainstream culture, marking the transition to the postmodernity into which these ideologies were absorbed
.
Ross
,
Kristin
.
May ’68 and Its Afterlives
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2002
.
Focusing on the conservative eighties revisionism of sixties radicalism in France, a radicalism which, as Ross emphasizes, was unique in its genuine unification of students and workers, and therefore in its genuine potential for revolutionary transformation, Ross argues that this genuine radical potential has been subsequently rewritten as an Americanized, or “Anglo-Saxonized,” coopted, cultural liberation, a liberation primarily of depoliticized countercultural practices and consumerist desire, that suppresses not only the political radicalism of May ’68 but also its true international dimension: the worldwide resistance to imperialism instantiated by resistance to the Vietnam War
.
Rossinow
,
Douglas
.
The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity and the New Left in America
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
,
1998
.
Like Breines, Rossinow provides a wealth of material on grassroots New Left organizations, contrasting them to violent, flamboyant national organizations like SDS. But, unlike Breines, Rossinow is interested in nonviolent, moderate New Left organizations, committed to reform rather than revolution
.
Roszak
,
Theodore
.
The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition
.
1969
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1995
.
Like Reich’s Greening of America, Roszak’s book popularized hippie and radical ideas for a mass-market, incipiently mainstream postmodern culture. Roszak’s “counter culture” took hold and subsequently became the defining term uniting the various strands of hippie ideologies and practices
.
Rowbotham
,
Sheila
.
Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties
.
New York
:
Verso
,
2001
.
In this avowedly, unashamedly pro-sixties memoir of her prefeminist life as a sixties radical in Britain, one of the most important founders, theorists, and historians of socialist second-wave feminism writes an encomium of sixties radicalism that tries to be urgent rather than merely nostalgic, insisting that sixties utopian visions were not naive, deluded, or self-indulgent but rather embodied a powerful dream that still holds promise for the future. Rowbotham provides a useful bibliography of sixties memoirs
.
Sale
,
Kirkpatrick
.
SDS
.
New York
:
Random House
,
1973
.
Considered the definitive history of SDS, Sale’s book starts at the beginning, in 1960, and ends with the cataclysmic bombings and other Weatherman violence of 1970. Sale produces a gripping drama of the hopeful rise of a revitalized, democratic American left, followed by the tragic fall of an increasingly violent, deluded, narcissistic, pseudorevolutionary movement plunging into self-destruction. The book is filled with useful, informative, detailed information on every aspect of the organization
.
Sayre
,
Nora
.
Sixties Going on Seventies
.
1973
.
New Brunswick
:
Rutgers University Press
,
1996
.
This wonderful collection of Nora Sayre’s journalism from the sixties is largely sympathetic to the wide range of political and countercultural events she covers (she also does careful justice to the right-wing opposition). Each essay uses a particular event to reflect thoughtfully on the general issues raised by the politics and cultures of the sixties. The revised edition includes a new introduction and afterword. Despite her clear-eyed acknowledgment of the defeats and failures of the sixties movements, and the power of the right-wing opposition, Sayre generally finds the broad positive impact of cultural change wrought by the sixties more significant than its debacles
.
Sayres
,
Sohnya
,
Stephanson
Anders
,
Aronowitz
Stanley
,
Jameson
Fredric
, eds.
The 60s without Apology
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
,
1984
.
As its title indicates, this excellent, important collection, by a range of the most visible, influential American left cultural and political analysts, many of them, including the editors, associated with the journal Social Text, is written against the conservative backlashes of the eighties and is sympathetic to the political and cultural movements of the sixties and their legacies. The essays are not simplistically celebratory, however; they are carefully balanced in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of sixties movements and are focused on historical specificity rather than polemics. A deep sense of the tragedy of the defeat of the sixties coexists with an analysis of the breadth and significance of its transformative impact and the extent to which sixties values and agendas survive into the present in altered forms
.
Schulman
,
Bruce J.
The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics
.
New York
:
Free Press
,
2001
.
Schulman argues that the seventies marked the shift from democratic activism aimed at realizing a broad, public political vision toward a market-dominated, introverted individualism. Schulman locates in the seventies the critique of the decline of sixties activism common among many analysts who see the defeat of sixties political goals as aligned with consumer culture’s cooptation of many countercultural “lifestyles,” the individualist turn inward, and/or the rise of “identity politics.”
Sullivan
,
James D.
On the Walls and in the Streets: American Poetry Broadsides from the 1960s
.
Champaign
:
University of Illinois Press
,
1997
.
Sullivan documents, through the extensive use of archives, the pervasiveness, impact, and importance of the cultural work done by ephemeral poetry broadsides in a range of sixties activism. Sullivan then traces the historical trajectory of these broadsides from the “street” to the archive, where they have become increasingly inaccessible to all but the wealthy collector and the academic cultural historian
.
Swerdlow
,
Amy
.
Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
1993
.
A powerful historical account of a previously disregarded, nearly buried precursor of second-wave feminism—a sixties antiwar group, the organization Women Strike for Peace, active against war in general and the Vietnam War in particular throughout the sixties. Swerdlow focuses particularly on the way WSP used traditional maternalist feminine rhetoric to enable housewives to become active in this radical antiwar movement
.
Unger
,
Irwin
, and
Unger
Debi
, eds.
The Times Were a Changin’: The Sixties Reader
.
New York
:
Three Rivers Press
,
1998
.
A thoughtful, useful anthology, ideal as a college text, of excerpts from a wide range of sixties writings, mostly political but also cultural, on the right as well as the left, divided into broad, important categories, with helpful, intelligent editorial introductions to each
.
Whalen
,
Jack
, and
Flacks
Richard
.
Beyond the Barricades: The Sixties Generation Grows Up
.
Philadelphia
:
Temple University Press
,
1989
.
A very useful collection of interviews with former activists from the University of California at Santa Barbara. For the most part, at the time of the interviews (in the eighties) they still identified in some form with their sixties political beliefs and commitments
.
Wyatt
,
David
.
Out of the Sixties: Storytelling and the Vietnam Generation
.
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1993
.
Wyatt emphasizes the way in which each major cultural producer he discusses forged a unique individual subjectivity in the crucible of the Vietnam War. Wyatt covers many genres, tellingly refusing to differentiate between literary and popular culture, or between major and minor figures. He organizes two pairs and two groups of three artists in persuasive, sometimes surprising ways, around broad thematic categories: “Nostalgia” includes George Lucas and Bruce Springsteen; “Celebrity” includes Sam Shepard and Ann Beattie; “Family Romance” includes Sue Miller, Ethan Mordden, and Alice Walker; “Survival” includes Gregory Orr, Louise Glück, and Michael Herr
.

Figures & Tables

Contents

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References

II. The Sixties

II. The Sixties
Adelson
,
Alan
.
SDS: A Profile
.
New York
:
Scribner’s
,
1972
.
An SDS member’s sympathetic history of the late-sixties radical heyday of the movement, beginning with the Columbia University occupation in 1968; less well known and also less critical of SDS than Kirkpatrick Sale’s SDS, which is considered the definitive history of the organization. Adelson, writing in 1971, assumes that SDS will regroup and prevail as a less violent, more worker-oriented organization. This book reflects the optimism of some surviving remnants of SDS in the very early seventies
.
Albert
,
Judith Clavir
, and
Albert
Stew
, eds.
The Sixties Papers
.
New York
:
Praeger
,
1985
.
A useful collection of original New Left and countercultural documents
.
Anderson
,
Terry H.
The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
1995
.
A balanced, detailed, responsible account, incorporating a great deal of important archival material, of the major events and people of the sixties radical movements, from the Civil Rights lunchroom sit-ins starting in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960, to the siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. Anderson’s narrative, though admirably complex in its understanding of how the history of the sixties unfolded through the chronological impact of specific historical events, follows the usual structure of hopeful rise followed by cataclysmic fall. Despite the nascent politics of subjectivity crucial to the Civil Rights and Black Power movements and to feminism, Anderson insists that his defining term, “activist,” is “free,” as he puts it, of race and gender
.
Banes
,
Sally
.
Greenwich Village 1963: Avant-Garde Performance and the Effervescent Body
.
Durham
:
Duke University Press
,
1993
.
An important, persuasive case for the crucial impact of the early-sixties Greenwich Village avant-garde renaissance (rather than the Beats, as Russell Jacoby argues in The Last Intellectuals) on the subsequent formation of the counterculture. Covering a wide range of what we now call performance art, Banes also argues that this avant-garde, which she dates from 1963, had a historical significance comparable to the Civil Rights march on Washington of the same year. The crucial link between the two is democratization, which itself gives the avant-garde direct political significance and ramifications. Banes also argues that the avant-garde’s primary commitment to democracy made it postmodern rather than modernist, and in fact itself marked the end of the modernist avant-gardes and the inception of postmodernism
.
Bayles
,
Martha
.
Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music
.
New York
:
Free Press
,
1994
.
As its title indicates, this book views sixties rock music as the pinnacle of the genre, and post-sixties popular music as not just a decline from, but a totally vitiating destruction and selling-out of, rock and roll
.
Bates
,
Tom
.
Rads: A True Story of the End of the Sixties
.
New York
:
HarperCollins
,
1992
.
Bates narrates, primarily through the story of the bomber Karl Armstrong, a detailed history of the bombing of the Army Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1970 as characteristic of the violent culmination and demise of sixties radicalism. Despite its sympathy for earlier, less violent phases of the movement, this narrative focuses primarily on the deluded destructiveness of the movement’s final violent phase
.
Berman
,
Paul
.
A Tale of Two Utopias: The Political Journey of the Generation of 1968
.
New York
:
Norton
,
1996
.
A fairly optimistic reading of sixties utopianism (which Berman sees as a convergence of cultural, spiritual, and political movements) as reemerging in the more liberal-democratic “utopianism” (I would call it progressive rather than utopian) anticommunist revolutions of 1989
.
Braunstein
,
Peter
, and
Doyle
Michael William
, eds.
Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s and ’70s
.
New York
:
Routledge
,
2002
.
An excellent anthology, emphasizing the complex, pervasive interrelations of the sixties countercultures with radical politics. Topics include the connection of the drug culture with radical defiance of oppressive laws; the connection between the “consciousness expansion” of the drug culture and the “consciousness raising” of feminism; the two-pronged “assault on the culture” represented by the counterculture and radical politics; identity politics across countercultural and radical political movements; countercultural art practices as self-consciously politically radical; communalism and environmentalism as simultaneously countercultural and radical political movements
.
Breines
,
Wini
.
Community and Organization in the New Left, 1962–1968: The Great Refusal
.
1982
.
New Brunswick
:
Rutgers University Press
,
1989
.
Breines uses Marcuse’s crucial formulation of the “Great Refusal” to make a powerful, detailed argument contrasting the anarchic, antihierarchical, communal, participatory-democratic, diverse, inclusive, utopian structure of local community organizations in the New Left, which she considers largely successful, with the centralized, bureaucratic, hierarchical, white male organization of national SDS, which, as she sees it, ultimately doomed the movement to failure
.
Burner
,
David
.
Making Peace with the 60s
.
Princeton
:
Princeton University Press
,
1996
.
Burner attributes the failure of the sixties political and cultural movements to unnecessary conflict between groups with similar goals, groups that might have formed productive alliances and achieved progressive agendas. Instead, the Civil Rights movement was split against itself into integrationist and Black Power factions, left liberalism was drowned out by the radical left, and peaceful, nonviolent antiwar groups were at cross-purposes with an increasingly radical, violent Marxist-Leninism (evidently, Burner prefers Civil Rights, left liberalism and nonviolent antiwar groups)
.
Buzzanco
,
Robert
.
Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life
.
Oxford
:
Blackwell
,
1998
.
A clear, straightforward account both of the history of the Vietnam War and the crucial role of the antiwar movement in generating a wide range of radical transformations in American politics and culture
.
Carmichael
,
Stokeley
, and
Hamilton
Charles V.
.
Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America
.
New York
:
Vintage
,
1967
.
An influential polemic for the Black Power movement by one of its most charismatic and visible advocates
.
Collier
,
Peter
, and
Horowitz
David
, eds.
Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts about the Sixties
.
New York
:
Summit Books
,
1989
.
This collection, which includes pieces by Todd Gitlin and Kirkpatrick Sale as well as by the editors, attacks what it sees as the self-destructive, self-deluded megalomania and violence of sixties radicals and theorists, and the fall into post-sixties cultural and identity politics. It is characteristic of the widespread current backlash against the sixties and repudiation of sixties politics by many former activists. See also Gitlin’s The Twilight of Common Dreams
.
Star
Dark
, ed.
Beneath the Paving Stones: Situationists and the Beach, May 1968
.
Oakland, Calif.
:
AK Press
,
2001
.
A collection of key Situationist writings, such as “On the Poverty of Student Life” by Mustapha Khayati, a broadside that played a key role in May ’68, and “The Totality for Kids” by Raoul Vaneigem, a précis of world history, from hunter-gatherer culture to the coming revolution of 1968, premised not just on repudiation of the society of the spectacle but also on the new social movements, particularly feminism, Black Power, and third world liberation movements, as well as workers’ movements
.
Dickstein
,
Morris
.
Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties
.
1977
.
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
1997
.
A definitive, classic text, still unsurpassed in the breadth, subtlety, detail, and penetration of its analyses of the counterculture, beginning with the Beats and the eruption out of fifties complacency, and moving through the absurdist humor of the early sixties, to the new journalism, the Black Arts movement, rock music, and experimental fiction. Dickstein sees the sixties cultural movements as participating in the great American utopian tradition (hence the title), become secular, Romantic, modernist and avant-garde in its particular origins, and eclectic in its sixties manifestations (his emphasis on sixties utopianism is obviously crucial here). He also argues that the great Romantic socialism of the sixties was destroyed by militant violence by the end of the decade
.
Dickstein
,
Morris
.
Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945–1970
.
Cambridge
:
Harvard University Press
,
2002
.
Here Dickstein, focusing especially on the horrors of the war as motive for resistance against fifties conformism, on black-influenced fifties rock and roll, on the influence of existentialism, on the Beats, on black, Jewish, and gay writers, and on Norman Mailer, argues for the importance of subversive, oppositional postwar works of the late forties and the fifties in preparing the ground for the radical cultural and political changes of the sixties
.
Diggins
,
John Patrick
.
The Rise and Fall of the American Left
.
1973
.
New York
:
Norton
,
1992
.
A useful, judicious introductory overview of the history of the American left in the twentieth century. Diggins’s analysis of the demise of the New Left focuses on its failure to connect with the potential radicalism of the working class, a failure that he considers characteristic of the repeated failures of left radical movements in the twentieth century
.
Echols
,
Alice
.
Shaky Ground: The Sixties and Its Aftershocks
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
,
2002
.
A collection of essays by the author of the groundbreaking history of the myriad groups and ideologies that made up early second-wave radical feminism, Daring to Be Bad. Echols sustains her advocacy of the radical force of popular cultural practices in this collection, attributing genuine transformative power to (generally American) countercultural movements, particularly in rock music. Echols champions postmodern developments in popular culture that she sees emerging from elements of the sixties counterculture
.
Farber
,
David
.
The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s
.
New York
:
Hill and Wang
,
1994
.
Farber is one of the most influential, important recent historians of the sixties. His argument here—presented in a highly readable, historically responsible narrative—as the title indicates, is that the sixties represented the culmination of American power and prosperity, based on capitalism’s unceasing “creative destruction” of the old and invention of the new. Nonetheless, the history of the sixties is ultimately tragic, because the great dreams were defeated, both by the self-destructive violence of the radicals and also by the crushing forces of the right: Nixon, the FBI, COINTELPRO, the backlash in general. Yet, politics and culture changed for the better, overall, as a result of the sixties movements
.
Farber
,
David
. ed.
The Sixties: From Memory to History
.
Chapel Hill
:
University of North Carolina Press
,
1994
.
This useful collection of essays by major writers on the sixties, including Alice Echols, one of the most important historians of second-wave feminism; Terry H. Anderson, author of The Movement and the Sixties; George Lipsitz, who has written extensively about popular culture; and Farber himself, among others, covers a wide range of key sixties movements, issues, and events: liberalism, Vietnam, race and ethnicity, feminism, the counterculture, the sexual revolution, the changes in business (capitalism, as I would describe it), and the right-wing reaction. In his introduction, Farber presents the thesis he develops in Age of Great Dreams: that the sixties transformed the nature and criteria of “cultural authority and political legitimacy” (1), and that the period was dominated by progressive liberalism but was also a “seedbed” (4) for right-wing reaction
.
Fink
,
Carole
,
Gassert
Philipp
, and
Junker
Detlef
, eds.
1968: The World Transformed
.
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1998
.
A thoughtful, sophisticated collection of scholarly essays, mostly on the West German left in the late sixties (with 1968 as the paradigmatic, emblematic, as well as literally crucial year for European radicals), but also on sixties radicalism in a range of other countries, including the United States, Czechoslovakia, China, Poland, France, Italy, East Germany, Spain, and Israel. These essays focus on international political networks and formations, emphasizing the concertedly global nature of sixties political radicalism
.
Frank
,
Thomas
.
The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
1997
.
Frank sees the rapid absorption of hippie styles, and of the counterculture in general, into American consumerism, business practices, and particularly advertising culture not as cooptation but rather as sympathetic rebellion on the part of like-minded, flexible, freewheeling businessmen, mostly of the same generation as the counterculture itself. This argument does not appeal to postmodern theory but is congruent with certain postmodern arguments about the subversion-from-within that characterizes the critical postmodern relation to consumer culture
.
Frank
,
Thomas
.
One Market under God
.
New York
:
Doubleday
,
2000
.
In this more recent book, Frank is much more critical of, and pessimistic about, post-sixties entrepreneurial capitalism than he was in The Conquest of Cool. He sees ex-hippie entrepreneurs, in the name of antigovernmental populism (for example, in the celebration of the unregulated Internet), betraying and vitiating liberal values of active government
.
Fukuyama
,
Francis
.
The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order
.
New York
:
Free Press
,
1999
.
This conservative theorist sees the radical and countercultural movements and events of the sixties, as is evident in his title, in an entirely negative light, as a “great disruption” of American moral fiber and civic and family values. However, Fukuyama believes that since human beings are genetically hardwired to restore order, we will recover completely from this great disruption, and the order of capitalist culture and the patriarchal nuclear family will be restored
.
Gitlin
,
Todd
.
The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
.
New York
:
Bantam Books
,
1987
.
Gitlin’s are among the best, most influential books on the sixties. Like so many other comprehensive works on the sixties, this book narrates a trajectory of the powerful emergence of a new American left, which destroyed itself— “imploded,” in Gitlin’s term—in the late sixties, defeated by its own violence and the contradictions of its communal and individualistic agendas. Gitlin’s work is eloquent, penetrating, intelligent, deeply insightful; it gives a vivid, accurate account of the experience of sixties radicalism
.
Gitlin
,
Todd
.
The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by the Culture Wars
.
New York
:
Henry Holt
,
1995
.
Here Gitlin, now almost entirely disenchanted with the sixties, attacks the excesses of the radical left and counterculture, blaming them for the defeat of the American left, for the backlash, and for the destructive, virulent divisions of the culture wars
.
Gitlin
,
Todd
.
The Whole World Is Watching
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1980
.
A brilliant, highly influential book on the role of the mass media in the construction of the radical New Left in the sixties. Gitlin gives a nuanced, complex account of the ways in which mass media vied with and, by the mid-sixties, largely displaced the underground media of the New Left, which represented activism from its own point of view. Mass media both manipulated the left and created its own version of it, focusing on, and therefore empowering, militant, flamboyant, white male celebrities
.
Hall
,
James C.
Mercy, Mercy Me: African-American Culture and the American Sixties
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
2001
.
Hall characterizes the most significant attribute of black cultural production in the sixties (the “Second Black Renaissance”) as what he calls its “antimodernism.” By this he means not postmodernism but rather a critique of and skepticism toward liberal narratives of American progress. He assembles an eclectic group of cultural producers to make this argument, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Robert Hayden, Paule Marshall, William Demby, John Coltrane, and Romare Bearden
.
Hobsbawm
,
Eric
.
The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914–1991
.
New York
:
Pantheon Books
,
1994
.
A brilliant and highly useful short history of the post–World War I twentieth century, which presents the sixties as both the culmination of the “golden age” of mid-twentieth-century prosperity and progress, and also as its downfall, through strains on, and generated by, global capitalist development and revolutions of rising expectation
.
Hersch
,
Charles
.
Democratic Artworks: Politics and the Arts from Trilling to Dylan
.
Albany
:
State University of New York Press
,
1998
.
Hersch analyzes the often complex, subtle democratizing impact of characteristic cultural productions of the sixties, arguing against conservative cultural critics, notably those most closely associated with the culture wars, such as Allan Bloom and Hilton Kramer, who attack sixties cultural production as either anarchic or solipsistic
.
Howard
,
Gerald
, ed.
The Sixties: The Art, Attitudes, Politics and Media of Our Most Explosive Decade
.
New York
:
Marlowe
,
1995
.
A collection of excerpts from major sixties writings, both political and cultural, useful as an introduction to the sixties for a new generation totally unfamiliar with it. The selection of texts is apt, including, among others, excerpts from Paul Goodman, C. Wright Mills, Herbert Marcuse, Michael Harrington, James Baldwin, Eldridge Cleaver, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Norman O. Brown, R. D. Laing. Howard also includes a selection from Morris Dickstein’s classic work on the sixties, Gates of Eden
.
Isserman
,
Maurice
, and
Kazin
Michael
.
America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
2000
.
Isserman, author as well of the excellent history of the left leading up to the sixties, If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left, is one of the most important historians of the radical American tradition; Kazin is a distinguished historian of populism and earlier labor movements. America Divided is one of the best recent books on the sixties. Narrating the cultural as well as the political history of the period, with both rich detail and a powerful overview, Isserman and Kazin emphasize the right-wing forces continually at war with radicalism and the counterculture, not just in the wake of the sixties but throughout the period. This is a crucial, insufficiently emphasized fact of the complex political and cultural dynamics of the sixties. Isserman and Kazin also include a useful chronology and bibliographical essay
.
Jacoby
,
Russell
.
The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy
.
New York
:
Basic Books
,
1999
.
Continuing the attack on the bankruptcy of contemporary intellectual and cultural life he undertook in The Last Intellectuals (New York: Basic Books, 1982), Jacoby laments the demise of utopia as the demise of political activism and engagement
.
Jeffords
,
Susan
.
The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War
.
Bloomington
:
Indiana University Press
,
1989
.
In this extremely useful, important, intelligent book, with which I agree entirely, Jeffords argues that the violent defeats of the Vietnam War, encompassing the necessity for masculine bonding and the abjection of defeat as feminized, “remasculinized” American masculinity, away from the gentler, androgynous, nonviolent styles promulgated by the counterculture, and toward the hypermasculine machismo prevalent in post-sixties American culture
.
Kaiser
,
Charles
.
1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation
.
New York
:
Grove Press
,
1988
.
A celebratory, fairly nostalgic twentieth-anniversary book, reminding us of the triumphs of the sixties counterculture, most notably those of rock music, focusing particularly, appropriately enough, on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan
.
Kimball
,
Roger
.
The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America
.
New York
:
Encounter Books
,
2000
.
Quite simply, the conservative Kimball believes that sixties radical politics and countercultures completely and irreparably destroyed every facet of American political, social, and cultural life
.
Macedo
,
Stephen
, ed.
Reassessing the Sixties: Debating the Political and Cultural Legacy
.
New York
:
Norton
,
1997
.
Despite an attempt at balance, and despite the presence in it of some arguments at least partly sympathetic to the legacies of the sixties, notably by Todd Gitlin, Martha Nussbaum, and Cass Sunstein, this volume, with a foreword by George F. Will and essays by a number of right-wing writers, most notably Alan Wolfe, comes down heavily on the anti-sixties side of the culture wars
.
Marcus
,
Greil
.
Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes
.
New York
:
Henry Holt
,
1997
.
Although this book focuses on one sixties figure, Bob Dylan, and one crucial rock group, The Band, it qualifies as a general book on the sixties because Marcus makes a very large claim for The Basement Tapes, recorded by Dylan and The Band in 1967 (and released in 1975, though much bootlegged in the intervening years) as a quintessential production of the sixties as high point of American populist culture
.
Marwick
,
Arthur
.
The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c. 1958–c. 1974
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
,
1998
.
Marwick’s enormous (nearly 900 pages) book provides a useful, detailed comparative analysis of sixties politics and culture in four major national locations; the majority of books on the sixties focus primarily on the United States or on other single countries. Marwick has a strong bias against both political and cultural radicals. His thesis is that utopian radicalism came to a destructive, self-destructive dead end, but that sixties “moderates” had an enormous impact, mostly for the good, on post-sixties culture and politics. He uses the odd term of opprobrium “Marxisant” to denounce the political left, while praising establishment moderates, particularly entrepreneurs, who incorporated sixties changes into a more flexible, tolerant, open, diverse democratic capitalism. Marwick’s analysis casts in a favorable light what analysts on the left consider the cooptation and neutralization of sixties cultural and political radicalism by a triumphant consumer capitalism
.
Mension
,
Jean-Michel
.
The Tribe
.
San Francisco
:
City Lights
,
2001
.
A collection of interviews with Mension, who was closely involved with the Situationist International, a characteristic radical political-countercultural sixties group in France, including extensive documentation of Situationist writings, advocating revolution through total withdrawal from and revision of the capitalist culture of the “society of the spectacle,” as well as photos of actions and of Guy Debord, the leader of the group (Debord’s Society of the Spectacle was its inspiration and key manifesto). This book is most useful as documentation of the activities of the Situationists, rather than as analysis of its ideologies or impact
.
Miller
,
James
.
“Democracy Is in the Streets”: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago
.
New York
:
Touchstone
,
1987
.
One of the most important, intelligent, useful histories of the New Left, filled with enlightening interviews and careful investigation of historical archival materials. SDS’s 1962 Port Huron Statement is at the heart of Miller’s argument. He begins with Port Huron, the hopeful, promising articulation of participatory democracy as a revitalized ideology for a new democratic American left, and moves through the increasing radicalism of the New Left to its violent demise. Miller argues that the New Left undervalued The Port Huron Statement, and participatory democracy in general; as a result, the movement was destroyed by the violence of the hard-line Marxist-Leninists
.
Miller
,
James
.
Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947–1977
.
New York
:
Simon and Schuster
,
1999
.
Primarily a narrative of the rise and triumph of rock and roll, but also a narrative of its rise and fall, tracing its early blossoming, through black music conjoined with white rebels and businessmen, through its great heyday in the sixties, again conjoining white rebels with mass-marketing geniuses, focusing primarily on Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead, to its destruction in the late seventies by the bland manipulations and packaging of the mass market and by the destructive triumph of the ressentiment of the violent adolescent. Miller’s notes contain extremely useful references to particular works on the central figures of rock he discusses, their discographies, as well as references to some general works on rock, drugs, and the counterculture in the American and British sixties; of the latter, as Miller says (I generally agree), Tom Wolfe’s 1968 Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, his brilliant narrative of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their bus, and of their involvement, featuring Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, in the drug and rock counterculture in its San Francisco heyday (the loss of which Hunter Thompson laments in Fear and Loathing), “remains one of the great pieces of Sixties reportage” and “is a tour de force of subtle moral commentary” (385)
.
Miller
,
Stephen Paul
.
The Seventies Now: Culture as Surveillance
.
Durham
:
Duke University Press
,
1999
.
Miller locates the defeat of the idealistic, broad-based, grassroots, egalitarian democratic goals associated with sixties activism in the seventies turn inward, which he associates particularly with the current culture of total surveillance, both external and internal, through a variety of governmental and cultural institutions, including the pervasive self-scrutiny enforced by dominant consumer culture
.
Patterson
,
James T.
Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974
.
New York
:
Oxford University Press
,
1996
.
One of the most important and useful recent histories of post–World War II America, focusing on the rising, and unprecedentedly fulfilled, expectations that enabled and largely produced the utopian radical movements of the sixties. In nearly 800 pages, with a wealth of detail and incisive analysis, Patterson moves steadily toward the defeat of the sixties movements, particularly Civil Rights and the antiwar movements, by the backlashes they generated
.
Powers
,
Thomas
.
The War at Home: Vietnam and the American People, 1964–1968
.
New York
:
Grossman Publishers
,
1973
.
One of the most important of the early books on the antiwar movement, still impressive in its argument and documentation (as I note in chapter 12, it would be impossible to credit the hundreds and hundreds of books and essays on Vietnam; Powers’s work stands out for me as one of the most effective and cogent of these, eloquent in its immediacy). Powers’s thesis is that the antiwar movement was successful in ending America’s involvement in the war, despite radicals’ feelings of defeat and futility during the period Powers covers
.
Reich
,
Charles A.
The Greening of America
.
1970
.
New York
:
Crown Publishers
,
1995
.
One of the most influential popularizations of New Left and countercultural ideologies, particularly the hippie ideology of a “new consciousness,” for the mass market of mainstream culture, marking the transition to the postmodernity into which these ideologies were absorbed
.
Ross
,
Kristin
.
May ’68 and Its Afterlives
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
2002
.
Focusing on the conservative eighties revisionism of sixties radicalism in France, a radicalism which, as Ross emphasizes, was unique in its genuine unification of students and workers, and therefore in its genuine potential for revolutionary transformation, Ross argues that this genuine radical potential has been subsequently rewritten as an Americanized, or “Anglo-Saxonized,” coopted, cultural liberation, a liberation primarily of depoliticized countercultural practices and consumerist desire, that suppresses not only the political radicalism of May ’68 but also its true international dimension: the worldwide resistance to imperialism instantiated by resistance to the Vietnam War
.
Rossinow
,
Douglas
.
The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity and the New Left in America
.
New York
:
Columbia University Press
,
1998
.
Like Breines, Rossinow provides a wealth of material on grassroots New Left organizations, contrasting them to violent, flamboyant national organizations like SDS. But, unlike Breines, Rossinow is interested in nonviolent, moderate New Left organizations, committed to reform rather than revolution
.
Roszak
,
Theodore
.
The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition
.
1969
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
,
1995
.
Like Reich’s Greening of America, Roszak’s book popularized hippie and radical ideas for a mass-market, incipiently mainstream postmodern culture. Roszak’s “counter culture” took hold and subsequently became the defining term uniting the various strands of hippie ideologies and practices
.
Rowbotham
,
Sheila
.
Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties
.
New York
:
Verso
,
2001
.
In this avowedly, unashamedly pro-sixties memoir of her prefeminist life as a sixties radical in Britain, one of the most important founders, theorists, and historians of socialist second-wave feminism writes an encomium of sixties radicalism that tries to be urgent rather than merely nostalgic, insisting that sixties utopian visions were not naive, deluded, or self-indulgent but rather embodied a powerful dream that still holds promise for the future. Rowbotham provides a useful bibliography of sixties memoirs
.
Sale
,
Kirkpatrick
.
SDS
.
New York
:
Random House
,
1973
.
Considered the definitive history of SDS, Sale’s book starts at the beginning, in 1960, and ends with the cataclysmic bombings and other Weatherman violence of 1970. Sale produces a gripping drama of the hopeful rise of a revitalized, democratic American left, followed by the tragic fall of an increasingly violent, deluded, narcissistic, pseudorevolutionary movement plunging into self-destruction. The book is filled with useful, informative, detailed information on every aspect of the organization
.
Sayre
,
Nora
.
Sixties Going on Seventies
.
1973
.
New Brunswick
:
Rutgers University Press
,
1996
.
This wonderful collection of Nora Sayre’s journalism from the sixties is largely sympathetic to the wide range of political and countercultural events she covers (she also does careful justice to the right-wing opposition). Each essay uses a particular event to reflect thoughtfully on the general issues raised by the politics and cultures of the sixties. The revised edition includes a new introduction and afterword. Despite her clear-eyed acknowledgment of the defeats and failures of the sixties movements, and the power of the right-wing opposition, Sayre generally finds the broad positive impact of cultural change wrought by the sixties more significant than its debacles
.
Sayres
,
Sohnya
,
Stephanson
Anders
,
Aronowitz
Stanley
,
Jameson
Fredric
, eds.
The 60s without Apology
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
,
1984
.
As its title indicates, this excellent, important collection, by a range of the most visible, influential American left cultural and political analysts, many of them, including the editors, associated with the journal Social Text, is written against the conservative backlashes of the eighties and is sympathetic to the political and cultural movements of the sixties and their legacies. The essays are not simplistically celebratory, however; they are carefully balanced in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of sixties movements and are focused on historical specificity rather than polemics. A deep sense of the tragedy of the defeat of the sixties coexists with an analysis of the breadth and significance of its transformative impact and the extent to which sixties values and agendas survive into the present in altered forms
.
Schulman
,
Bruce J.
The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics
.
New York
:
Free Press
,
2001
.
Schulman argues that the seventies marked the shift from democratic activism aimed at realizing a broad, public political vision toward a market-dominated, introverted individualism. Schulman locates in the seventies the critique of the decline of sixties activism common among many analysts who see the defeat of sixties political goals as aligned with consumer culture’s cooptation of many countercultural “lifestyles,” the individualist turn inward, and/or the rise of “identity politics.”
Sullivan
,
James D.
On the Walls and in the Streets: American Poetry Broadsides from the 1960s
.
Champaign
:
University of Illinois Press
,
1997
.
Sullivan documents, through the extensive use of archives, the pervasiveness, impact, and importance of the cultural work done by ephemeral poetry broadsides in a range of sixties activism. Sullivan then traces the historical trajectory of these broadsides from the “street” to the archive, where they have become increasingly inaccessible to all but the wealthy collector and the academic cultural historian
.
Swerdlow
,
Amy
.
Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
,
1993
.
A powerful historical account of a previously disregarded, nearly buried precursor of second-wave feminism—a sixties antiwar group, the organization Women Strike for Peace, active against war in general and the Vietnam War in particular throughout the sixties. Swerdlow focuses particularly on the way WSP used traditional maternalist feminine rhetoric to enable housewives to become active in this radical antiwar movement
.
Unger
,
Irwin
, and
Unger
Debi
, eds.
The Times Were a Changin’: The Sixties Reader
.
New York
:
Three Rivers Press
,
1998
.
A thoughtful, useful anthology, ideal as a college text, of excerpts from a wide range of sixties writings, mostly political but also cultural, on the right as well as the left, divided into broad, important categories, with helpful, intelligent editorial introductions to each
.
Whalen
,
Jack
, and
Flacks
Richard
.
Beyond the Barricades: The Sixties Generation Grows Up
.
Philadelphia
:
Temple University Press
,
1989
.
A very useful collection of interviews with former activists from the University of California at Santa Barbara. For the most part, at the time of the interviews (in the eighties) they still identified in some form with their sixties political beliefs and commitments
.
Wyatt
,
David
.
Out of the Sixties: Storytelling and the Vietnam Generation
.
Cambridge
:
Cambridge University Press
,
1993
.
Wyatt emphasizes the way in which each major cultural producer he discusses forged a unique individual subjectivity in the crucible of the Vietnam War. Wyatt covers many genres, tellingly refusing to differentiate between literary and popular culture, or between major and minor figures. He organizes two pairs and two groups of three artists in persuasive, sometimes surprising ways, around broad thematic categories: “Nostalgia” includes George Lucas and Bruce Springsteen; “Celebrity” includes Sam Shepard and Ann Beattie; “Family Romance” includes Sue Miller, Ethan Mordden, and Alice Walker; “Survival” includes Gregory Orr, Louise Glück, and Michael Herr
.
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