American Culture in the 1960s by Sharon Monteith

By Sharon Monteith

This ebook charts the altering complexion of yank tradition in a single of the main culturally shiny of twentieth-century a long time. It presents a shiny account of the key cultural varieties of Sixties the United States - track and function; movie and tv; fiction and poetry; paintings and images - in addition to influential texts, developments and figures of the last 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 paintings to photojournalism. A bankruptcy on new social hobbies demonstrates present of conservatism runs via even the main progressive pursuits of the Nineteen Sixties and the e-book as an entire seems to be to the West and particularly to the South within the making of the sixties as fantasy and as historical past.

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The supremely controversial Moynihan report took its cue from both theses, as explored in Chapter 3. While the 1950s is described as more conservative than the 1960s, quiescent, or even ‘tranquillized’ to borrow poet Robert Lowell’s epithet, as Steve Whitfield, Pete Daniel, Brian Ward, Martin Halliwell and others have shown, that is far from the whole story. Leaning too heavily on the idea of the fifties as a conformist ‘foil’ for the effervescent sixties serves only to detach the era from all it built upon, as if Kennedy’s inauguration initiated a new cultural frontier as surely as his rhetoric.

Diana Trilling compared him to the prophet Moses and Richard Poirier followed Mailer himself in arguing, ‘men who become Presidents or champions of the world are . . 39 His facility for catching the Zeitgeist and courting controversy made him a cultural phenomenon who is returned to in this book for the moments he intersects with the decade’s key events. The Myth of the ‘New’ Frontier In 1960 President John F. 2 Anti-war demonstrators run up against military police at the Pentagon in Washington DC on 21 October 1967, the events that Mailer describes in Armies of the Night.

In Birmingham, Alabama – a city whose symbolism is explored in the Conclusion – white clergymen wrote an open letter entitled ‘A Call For Unity’ in an effort to resolve a racial stand-off at the local level when Martin Luther King Jr was arrested on 9 April 1963 but they found their words read and responded to as a national statement when King replied with his ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’. It was published in The Christian Century and in his book Why We Can’t Wait (1963) as a measured defence of non-violent campaigning for black civil rights and has become one of the most famous documents of the new social movements, the cluster of mass protests that characterised the era’s politics.

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