Age of Fracture
Daniel T. Rodgers Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress E169.12.R587 2011 | Dewey Decimal 973.91
Rodgers presents the first broadly gauged history of the ideas and arguments that profoundly reshaped America in the last quarter of the twentieth century. From the ways in which Ronald Reagan changed the formulas of the Cold War presidency to the era’s intense debates over gender, race, economics, and history, it maps the dynamics through which mid-twentieth-century ideas of structure fell apart between the mid 1970s and the end of the century. Where conventional histories of modern America have focused on specific decades, the book traces the larger transformations in social ideas and visions that reshaped the era from the early 1970s through the end of the century.
Red states versus blue states. Metro versus retro. North or South, East or West. Pundits, politicians, and social scientists love to carve out categories in an attempt to make sense of political and social divisions that run through the American landscape. As the home of nearly 300 million people spread over approximately 3.7 million square miles of earth, the United States poses a monumental challenge to all who try to grapple with its rich and immensely complex physical and social geography. Acclaimed British historian Jeremy Black tackles this challenge through a literal and metaphorical road trip across America’s physical and historical landscapes, analyzing the ways that events in American history and culture since 1960 have remade the geography and demographics of America.
Black works from the startling premise that the United States is a continent pretending to be a country. He examines the cultural clashes—and the tense harmony—between the numerous regional cultures uneasily contained within the United States’ wide bounds. Suburban sprawl, the triumph of consumerism, the war over health care, immigration, and Christian evangelicalism all play a part in these pages, as Black unravels the tangled web of American life during the past forty-five years. He locates such tensions in the tug-of-war between the unitary and divisive pressures that have always defined the character of American government, and in the alternating rise and fall of individualism and conformity in American society as well. Black also has some telling new reflections on America’s role abroad, from Nixon’s Vietnam to George W. Bush's Iraq.
Drawing on travels from Virginia to California to Alaska, Black deftly reveals in Altered States the less-examined aspects of American culture as they are manifested in its diverse peoples and landscapes from coast to coast.
Did New Left activists have an opportunity to start a revolution that they simply could not bring off? Was their rejection of conventional forms of political organization a fatal flaw or were the apparent weaknesses of the movement -- the lack of central authority, the distrust of politics -- actually hidden strengths?
Wini Breines traces the evolution of the New Left movement through the Free Speech Movement, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and SDS's community organization projects. For Breines, the movement's goal of participatory decision-making, even when it was not achieved, made up for its failure to take practical and direct action. By the late 1960s, antiwar activism contributed to the decline of the New Left, as the movement was flooded with new participants who did not share the founding generation's political experiences or values.
Originally published in 1982, Wini Breines's classic work now includes a new preface in which she reassesses, and for the most part affirms, her initial views of the movement. She argues that the movement remains effective in the midst of radical changes in activist movements. Breines also summarizes and evaluates the new and growing scholarship on the 1960s. Her provocative analysis of the New Left remains important today.
While the youth counterculture remains the most evocative and best-remembered symbol of the cultural ferment of the 1960s, the revolution that shook American business during those boom years has gone largely unremarked. In this fascinating and revealing study, Thomas Frank shows how the youthful revolutionaries were joined—and even anticipated —by such unlikely allies as the advertising industry and the men's clothing business.
"[Thomas Frank is] perhaps the most provocative young cultural critic of the moment."—Gerald Marzorati, New York Times Book Review
"An indispensable survival guide for any modern consumer."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Frank makes an ironclad case not only that the advertising industry cunningly turned the countercultural rhetoric of revolution into a rallying cry to buy more stuff, but that the process itself actually predated any actual counterculture to exploit."—Geoff Pevere, Toronto Globe and Mail
"The Conquest of Cool helps us understand why, throughout the last third of the twentieth century, Americans have increasingly confused gentility with conformity, irony with protest, and an extended middle finger with a populist manifesto. . . . His voice is an exciting addition to the soporific public discourse of the late twentieth century."—T. J. Jackson Lears, In These Times
"An invaluable argument for anyone who has ever scoffed at hand-me-down counterculture from the '60s. A spirited and exhaustive analysis of the era's advertising."—Brad Wieners, Wired Magazine
"Tom Frank is . . . not only old-fashioned, he's anti-fashion, with a place in his heart for that ultimate social faux pas, leftist politics."—Roger Trilling, Details
When E. Franklin Frazier was elected the first black president of the American Sociological Association in 1948, he was established as the leading American scholar on the black family and was also recognized as a leading theorist on the dynamics of social change and race relations. By 1948 his lengthy list of publications included over fifty articles and four major books, including the acclaimed Negro Family in the United States. Frazier was known for his thorough scholarship and his mastery of skills in both history and sociology.
With the publication of Bourgeoisie Noire in 1955 (translated in 1957 as Black Bourgeoisie), Frazier apparently set out on a different track, one in which he employed his skills in a critical analysis of the black middle class. The book met with mixed reviews and harsh criticism from the black middle and professional class. Yet Frazier stood solidly by his argument that the black middle class was marked by conspicuous consumption, wish fulfillment, and a world of make-believe. While Frazier published four additional books after 1948, Black Bourgeoisie remained by far his most controversial.
Given his status in American sociology, there has been surprisingly little study of Frazier's work. In E. Franklin Frazier and Black Bourgeoisie, a group of distinguished scholars remedies that lack, focusing on his often-scorned Black Bourgeoisie.
This in-depth look at Frazier's controversial publication is relevant to the growing concerns about racism, problems in our cities, the limitations of affirmative action, and the promise of self-help.
From “getting loose” to “letting it all hang out,” the 1970s were filled with exhortations to free oneself from artificial restraints and to discover oneself in a more authentic and creative life. In the wake of the counterculture of the 1960s, anything that could be made to yield to a more impulsive vitality was reinvented in a looser way. Food became purer, clothing more revealing, sex more orgiastic, and home decor more rustic and authentic.
Through a sociological analysis of the countercultural print culture of the 1970s, Sam Binkley investigates the dissemination of these self-loosening narratives and their widespread appeal to America’s middle class. He describes the rise of a genre of lifestyle publishing that emerged from a network of small offbeat presses, mostly located on the West Coast. Amateurish and rough in production quality, these popular books and magazines blended Eastern mysticism, Freudian psychology, environmental ecology, and romantic American pastoralism as they offered “expert” advice—about how to be more in touch with the natural world, how to release oneself into trusting relationships with others, and how to delve deeper into the body’s rhythms and natural sensuality. Binkley examines dozens of these publications, including the Whole Earth Catalog, Rainbook, the Catalog of Sexual Consciousness, Celery Wine, Domebook, and Getting Clear.
Drawing on the thought of Pierre Bourdieu, Zygmunt Bauman, and others, Binkley explains how self-loosening narratives helped the middle class confront the modernity of the 1970s. As rapid social change and political upheaval eroded middle-class cultural authority, the looser life provided opportunities for self-reinvention through everyday lifestyle choice. He traces this ethos of self-realization through the “yuppie” 1980s to the 1990s and today, demonstrating that what originated as an emancipatory call to loosen up soon evolved into a culture of highly commercialized consumption and lifestyle branding.
Critics often claim that prime-time television seemed immune—or even willfully blind—to the landmark upheavals rocking American society during the 1960s. Groove Tube is Aniko Bodroghkozy’s rebuttal of this claim. Filled with entertaining and enlightening discussions of popular shows of the time—such as The Monkees, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Mod Squad—this book challenges the assumption that TV programming failed to consider or engage with the decade’s youth-lead societal changes. Bodroghkozy argues that, in order to woo an increasingly lucrative baby boomer audience, television had to appeal to the social and political values of a generation of young people who were enmeshed in the hippie counterculture, the antiwar movement, campus protests, urban guerilla action—in general, a culture of rebellion. She takes a close look at the compromises and negotiations that were involved in determining TV content, as well as the ideological difficulties producers and networks faced in attempting to appeal to a youthful cohort so disaffected from dominant institutions. While programs that featured narratives about hippies, draft resisters, or revolutionaries are examined under this lens, Groove Tube doesn’t stop there: it also examines how the nation’s rebellious youth responded to these representations. Bodroghkozy explains how, as members of the first “TV generation,” some made sense of their societal disaffection in part through their childhood experience with this powerful new medium. Groove Tube will interest sociologists, American historians, students and scholars of television and media studies, and others who want to know more about the 1960s.
The 1970s were a complex, multilayered, and critical part of a long era of profound societal change and an essential component of the decade before-several of the most iconic events of "the sixties" occurred in the ten years that followed. The Hidden 1970s explores the distinctiveness of those years, a time when radicals tried to change the world as the world changed around them.
This powerful collection is a compelling assessment of left-wing social movements in a period many have described as dominated by conservatism or confusion. Scholars examine critical and largely buried legacies of the 1970s. The decade of Nixon's fall and Reagan's rise also saw widespread indigenous militancy, prisoner uprisings, transnational campaigns for self-determination, pacifism, and queer theories of play as political action. Contributors focus on diverse topics, including the internationalization of Black Power and Native sovereignty, organizing for Puerto Rican independence among Latinos and whites, and women's self-defense. Essays and ideas trace the roots of struggles from the 1960s through the 1970s, providing fascinating insight into the myriad ways that radical social movements shaped American political culture in the 1970s and the many ways they continue to do so today.
Hippies American Values
Timothy S. Miller University of Tennessee Press, 1991 Library of Congress HQ799.7.M55 1991 | Dewey Decimal 305.568
"The sixties' political agenda may have been ground down to ambiguity at best, but moral and spiritual America will never again be quite what it was before the coming of the hippies, and Miller has shown how and why."—Robert S. Ellwood, University of Southern California
The hippies of the late 1960s were cultural dissenters who, among other things, advocated drastic rethinking of certain traditional American values and standards. In this lucid, lively survey, Timothy Miller traces the movement's ethical innovations and analyzes the impact of its ideas on subsequent American culture.
Dedicated to such tenets as the primacy of love, trust in intuition and direct experience, the rejection of meaningless work, and a disdain for money and materialism, the hippies advocated dropping out of the dominant culture, and proposed new and more permissive ethics in several areas. They argued that, while some drugs were indeed harmful, others provided useful insights and experiences and therefore should be freely available and widely used. They endorsed a liberal ethics of sex, in which no sexual act between or among consenting adults would be banned. They developed an ethics of rock-and-roll music, arguing that rock was the language of a generation and that it helped promote new ways of thinking and living. They also revived the venerable American tradition of communal living.
In contrast to most available literature on the 1960s, this book deals with the cultural revolutionaries and not the political radicals of the New Left. And instead of relying on later interviews with persons who were active in the 1960s, Miller draws mainly on underground newspapers of the day, the most important literary creation of the hippies themselves. The result is a historical encounter of rare immediacy.
Timothy Miller is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas.
In 1995, a South African journalist informed Frank Wilderson, one of only two American members of the African National Congress (ANC), that President Nelson Mandela considered him "a threat to national security." Wilderson was asked to comment. Incognegro is that "comment." It is also his response to a question posed five years later in a California university classroom: "How come you came back?" Although Wilderson recollects his turbulent life as an expatriate during the furious last gasps of apartheid, Incognegro is at heart a quintessentially American story. During South Africa's transition, Wilderson taught at universities in Johannesburg and Soweto by day. By night, he helped the ANC coordinate clandestine propaganda, launch psychological warfare, and more. In this mesmerizing political memoir, Wilderson's lyrical prose flows from unspeakable dilemmas in the red dust and ruin of South Africa to his return to political battles raging quietly on US campuses and in his intimate life. Readers will find themselves suddenly overtaken by the subtle but resolute force of Wilderson's biting wit, rare vulnerability, and insistence on bearing witness to history no matter the cost.
In 1970, Margaret Grundstein abandoned her graduate degree at Yale and followed her husband, an Indonesian prince and community activist, to a commune in the backwoods of Oregon. Together with ten friends and an ever-changing mix of strangers, they began to build their vision of utopia.
Naked in the Woods chronicles Grundstein’s shift from reluctant hippie to committed utopian—sacrificing phones, electricity, and running water to live on 160 acres of remote forest with nothing but a drafty cabin and each other. Grundstein, (whose husband left, seduced by “freer love”) faced tough choices. Could she make it as a single woman in man’s country? Did she still want to? How committed was she to her new life? Although she reveled in the shared transcendence of communal life deep in the natural world, disillusionment slowly eroded the dream. Brotherhood frayed when food became scarce. Rifts formed over land ownership. Dogma and reality clashed.
Many people, baby boomers and millennials alike, have romantic notions about the 1960s and 70s. Grundstein’s vivid account offers an unflinching, authentic portrait of this iconic and often misreported time in American history. Accompanied by a collection of distinctive photographs she took at the time, Naked in the Woods draws readers into a period of convulsive social change and raises timeless questions: how far must we venture to find the meaning we seek, and is it ever far out enough to escape our ingrained human nature?
New Left Revisited
edited by John McMillian and Paul Buhle Temple University Press, 2003 Library of Congress HN90.R3N454 2003 | Dewey Decimal 303.484
Starting with the premise that it is possible to say something significantly new about the 1960s and the New Left, the contributors to this volume trace the social roots, the various paths, and the legacies of the movement that set out to change America. As members of a younger generation of scholars, none of them (apart from Paul Buhle) has first-hand knowledge of the era. Their perspective as non-participants enables them to offer fresh interpretations of the regional and ideological differences that have been obscured in the standard histories and memoirs of the period. Reflecting the diversity of goals, the clashes of opinions, and the tumult of the time, these essays will engage seasoned scholars as well as students of the '60s.
While other writers contemplated the events of the 1968 Chicago riots from the safety of their hotel rooms, John Schultz was in the city streets, being threatened by police, choking on tear gas, and listening to all the rage, fear, and confusion around him. The result, No One Was Killed, is his account of the contradictions and chaos of convention week, the adrenalin, the sense of drama and history, and how the mainstream press was getting it all wrong.
"A more valuable factual record of events than the city’s white paper, the Walker Report, and Theodore B. White’s Making of a President combined."—Book Week
"As a reporter making distinctions between Yippie, hippie, New Leftist, McCarthyite, police, and National Guard, Schultz is perceptive; he excels in describing such diverse personalities as Julian Bond and Eugene McCarthy."—Library Journal
"High on my short list of true, lasting, inspired evocations of those whacked-out days when the country was fighting a phantasmagorical war (with real corpses), and police under orders were beating up demonstrators who looked at them funny."—Todd Gitlin, from the foreword
It was a story so bizarre it defied belief: in April 1974, twenty-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst robbed a San Francisco bank in the company of members of the Symbionese Liberation Army—who had kidnapped her a mere nine weeks earlier. But the robbery—and the spectacular 1976 trial that ended with Hearst’s criminal conviction—seemed oddly appropriate to the troubled mood of the nation, an instant exemplar of a turbulent era.
With Patty’s Got a Gun, the first substantial reconsideration of Patty Hearst’s story in more than twenty-five years, William Graebner vividly re-creates the atmosphere of uncertainty and frustration of mid-1970s America. Drawing on copious media accounts of the robbery and trial—as well as cultural artifacts from glam rock to Invasion of the Body Snatchers—Graebner paints a compelling portrait of a nation confused and frightened by the upheavals of 1960s liberalism and beginning to tip over into what would become Reagan-era conservatism, with its invocations of individual responsibility and the heroic. Trapped in the middle of that shift, the affectless, zombielike, “brainwashed” Patty Hearst was a ready-made symbol of all that seemed to have gone wrong with the sixties—the inevitable result, some said, of rampant permissiveness, feckless elitism, the loss of moral clarity, and feminism run amok.
By offering a fresh look at Patty Hearst and her trial—for the first time free from the agendas of the day, yet set fully in their cultural context—Patty’s Got a Gun delivers a nuanced portrait of both an unforgettable moment and an entire era, one whose repercussions continue to be felt today.
The period between the 1960s and 1970s is easily one of the most controversial in American history. Examining the liberal movements of the era as well as those that opposed them, this volume offers analyses of the rhetoric of leaders, including those of the civil rights movement, the Chicano movement, the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and conservative resistance groups. It also features an introduction that summarizes much of the significant research done by communication scholars on dissent in the 1960s and 1970s. This time period is still a fertile area of study, and this book provides insights into the era that are both provocative and illuminating, making it an essential read for anyone looking to learn more about this time in America.
The 1960s are well documented but not well understood; the rhetoric of and reaction to the decade continues to trouble American public discourse. This work by Douglas Knight, who served as president of Duke University from 1963 to 1969 during clashes on that campus, is not only an honest account of one institution’s experience, but draws parallels to the situations on other campuses and seeks to comprehend the time and its enduring influence.
Tomorrow Never Knows takes us back to the primal scene of the 1960s and asks: what happened when young people got high and listened to rock as if it really mattered—as if it offered meaning and sustenance, not just escape and entertainment? What did young people hear in the music of Dylan, Hendrix, or the Beatles? Bromell's pursuit of these questions radically revises our understanding of rock, psychedelics, and their relation to the politics of the 60s, exploring the period's controversial legacy, and the reasons why being "experienced" has been an essential part of American youth culture to the present day.
Something happened in the 1990s, something dramatic and irreversible. A group of people long considered a moral menace and an issue previously deemed unmentionable in public discourse were transformed into a matter of human rights, discussed in every institution of American society. Marriage, the military, parenting, media and the arts, hate violence, electoral politics, public school curricula, human genetics, religion: Name the issue, and the the role of gays and lesbians was a subject of debate. During the 1990s, the world seemed finally to turn and take notice of the gay people in its midst. In The World Turned, distinguished historian and leading gay-rights activist John D’Emilio shows how gay issues moved from the margins to the center of national consciousness during the critical decade of the 1990s.
In this collection of essays, D’Emilio brings his historian’s eye to bear on these profound changes in American society, culture, and politics. He explores the career of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and pacifist who was openly gay a generation before almost everyone else; the legacy of radical gay and lesbian liberation; the influence of AIDS activist and writer Larry Kramer; the scapegoating of gays and lesbians by the Christian Right; the gay-gene controversy and the debate over whether people are "born gay"; and the explosion of attention focused on queer families. He illuminates the historical roots of contemporary debates over identity politics and explains why the gay community has become, over the last decade, such a visible part of American life.