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America in the Sixties

John Robert Greene

Cloth $45.00L    |    978-0-8156-3276-4    |    2010

Paper $19.95s    |    978-0-8156-3221-4    |    2010

"This brief history of the 1960s is part of a series on 20th-century US history, which, according to the foreword, seeks to engage students through ‘readable, concise and scholarly’ texts written by ‘master teachers.’ . . . Greene ably meets these criteria. This is not a text that aspires to be comprehensive, but Greene does an admirable job of addressing such topics as the 1950s, the liberalism of the Kenned and Johnson years, the evolving civil rights movement, the New Left, the war in Vietnam, and the counterculture in neatly arranged and generally compelling chapters. . . . Recommended."

"Perceptive, judicious, and written with an engaging flair, master historian John Robert Greene’s America in the Sixties vividly brings to life arguably the most important and complex decade of the twentieth century."
—Melvin Small, author of The Presidency of Richard Nixon

In the News
Cazenovia College professor John Robert Greene takes a look back at the ’60s
—Author John Robert Green is interviewed in The Post-Standard at http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/cazenovia_college_professor_jo.html

Sandwiched between the placid fifties and the flamboyant seventies, the sixties, a decade of tumultuous change and stunning paradoxes, is often reduced to a series of slogans, symbols, and media images. In America in the Sixties, Greene goes beyond the clich├ęs and synthesizes thirty years of research, writing, and teaching on one of the most turbulent decades of the twentieth century.

Greene sketches the well-known players of the period—John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Betty Friedan—bringing each to life with subtle detail. He introduces the reader to lesser-known incidents of the decade and offers fresh and persuasive insights on many of its watershed events. Greene argues that the civil rights movement began in 1955 following the death of Emmett Till; that many accomplishments credited to Kennedy were based upon myth, not historical fact, and that his presidency was far from successful; that each of the movements of the period—civil rights, students, antiwar, ethnic nationalism—were started by young intellectuals and eventually driven to failure by activists who had different goals in mind; and that the "counterculture," which has been glorified in today’s media as a band of rock-singing hippies, had its roots in some of the most provocative social thinking of the postwar period.

Greene chronicles the decade in a thematic manner, devoting individual chapters to such subjects as the legacy of the fifties, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the civil rights movements, and the war in Vietnam. Combining an engrossing narrative with intelligent analysis, America in the Sixties enriches our understanding of that pivotal era.

View other books in the America in the Twentieth Century series

John Robert Greene is the Paul J. Schupf Professor of History and Humanities at Cazenovia College. He has written or edited thirteen books including The Limits of Power: The Nixon and Ford Administrations and The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. He is a regular commentator in the national media, having appeared on such forums as MSNBC, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and the History Channel.

6 x 9, 224 pages, notes, recommended readings, index

America in the Sixties

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