No other decade of the twentieth century has acquired the mythological status of the 1960s. For the United States this was the decade of the Camelot presidency of John F. Kennedy and the ruined presidency of Lyndon Johnson, of the great civil rights March on Washington and the assassination of Martin Luther King. It was the decade of the escalating war in Vietnam and the thrusting youth and peace movements, of urban riots and violent confrontations on the street. These years also witnessed the birth of the New Left on the one hand and the angry conservatism of Barry Goldwater and George Wallace on the other, as well as a determined political activism that ranged from the atrocities of the Ku Klux Klan to the demonstrations of a revived women's movement.
Part One: Spirit and Context
1. The Spirit of the Sixties: An Age of Activism
2. The Sixties in Perspective: Society, Economy, and Polity
Part Two: Politics at Home and Abroad
3. The Politics of Hope: From Kennedy to Johnson
4. The United States in the World: From Hubris to Humiliation
5. The Politics of Reaction: From Johnson to Nixon
Part Three: Popular Protest and New Movements
6. The African American Revolt: From Civil Rights to Black Power
7. Protest: Youth, Peace, and Women's Movements
Suggestions for Further Reading.
About the Author
Challenging the images associated with the 1960s is difficult, not because they are wrong but because they are only part of the story. There certainly was an upsurge of left-wing radicalism, there were mass demonstrations and urban riots, the 'counter-culture' did exist, and there can be no doubt that the issues of black civil rights and the Vietnam War dominated the public agenda. It is a measure of M J Heale's success that in relatively few pages he has given due weight to these issues, while also showing that the full story is more complicated and interesting…An authoritative and lucid guide to the public events of the 1960s and to the larger significance of the era.
Heale … has packed an enormous amount of information into a few pages, as he examines what may be the most controversial decade in twentieth century American history… he writes a balanced, even-handed account… its brevity, accessible writing style, and an excellent guide for further reading make The Sixties in America an excellent choice for teachers looking for a useful introduction to this period.
It provides a clear overview of 60s history and covers essential protest movements as well as political developments.
This book is perfect for undergraduate students and may adequately complement the research of graduate students. Scholarly without being tedious, it may also be of great interest to the general public.