Recommend to your Librarian

American Culture in the 1960s

Sharon Monteith

eBook (PDF) i

This book charts the changing complexion of American culture in one of the most culturally vibrant of twentieth-century decades. It provides a vivid account of the major cultural forms of 1960s America - music and performance; film and television; fiction and poetry; art and photography - as well as influential texts, trends and figures of the decade: from Norman Mailer to Susan Sontag; from Muhammad Ali's anti-war protests to Tom Lehrer's stand-up comedy; from Bob Dylan to Rachel Carson; and from Pop Art to photojournalism. A chapter on new social movements demonstrates that a current of conservatism runs through even the most revolutionary movements of the 1960s and the book as a whole looks to the West and especially to the South in the making of the sixties as myth and as history.

Key Features

  • Focused case studies featuring key texts, genres, writers, artists and cultural trends
  • Detailed chronology of 1960s American culture
  • Bibliographies for each chapter
  • Over 30 black and white illustrations


List of Figures
List of Case Studies
Chronology of 1960s American Culture
Introduction: The Intellectual Context
1. Music and Performance
2. Film and Television
3. Fiction and Poetry
4. Art and Photography
5. New Social Movements and Creative Dissent
Conclusion: The Cultural Legacy of the 1960s

About the Author

Sharon Monteith is Professor of American Studies at the University of Nottingham. She is author of Advancing Sisterhood? Interracial Friendships in Contemporary Southern Fiction (2000) and Pat Barker (2002) and co-author of Film Histories (2007). Among other volumes she is co-editor of Gender and the Civil Rights Movement (1999; 2004) and South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture (2002).


Just when it seems as if there might be nothing new to be said about the 1960s, Sharon Monteith has crafted an original and highly valuable new take on the decade and its legacies. She combines perceptive cultural analysis and shrewd aesthetic judgements with a firm grasp of historical and social context. The result is a smart, engaging and persuasive introduction to the decade's complex cultural politics.
- Brian Ward, Professor of American Studies, University of Manchester
Monteith delves well beyond the surface to provide a solid cultural history of the sixties ... The book as a whole is highly readable and engaging, and Monteith continuously includes humorous quotes and information ... the tidy organization and clear articulation of the cultural pulse of the 1960s makes the book essential reading.
- Matthew Shannon, H-1960s

‘This is a revolutionary book, in its own way, in keeping with the turbulent, troubled spirit of the decade it dissects. It is bound to become standard reading of a key moment in the national narrative of the United States – a narrative that, as Monteith shows, is made up equally of history and myth.’

- Richard Gray, University of Essex, Journal of American Studies

Also in this series