America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s, Fourth Edition, is the definitive interpretive survey of the political, social, and cultural history of 1960s America. Written by two top experts on the era-Maurice Isserman, a scholar of the Left, and Michael Kazin, a specialist in Right-wing politics and culture-this book provides a compelling tale of this tumultuous era filled with fresh and persuasive insights.
For the fourth edition the authors have updated the text in light of new research, offering strong and thoughtful analysis of such key topics as the U.S. entry into the Vietnam War, youth culture, the New Left, and women and minority groups. Presenting the most even-handed overview of this turbulent period, America Divided, Fourth Edition, defines, discusses, and analyzes all sides of the political, social, and cultural conflicts of the 1960s in a swiftly moving narrative. It is ideal for courses in 1960s America and America since 1945, or for anyone interested in the last fifty years of American History.
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Maurice Isserman is Professor of History at Hamilton College. Michael Kazin is Professor of History at Georgetown University.From Kirkus Reviews:
A thoroughly detailed, well-written history of the tumultuous recent past. Historians Isserman (Hamilton College; If I Had a Hammer, 1987) and Kazin (Georgetown Univ.; The Populist Persuasion) take a past-is-a-foreign-country approach to the events of the 1960s. Survivors of the time might get a chuckle at some of the data the authors see the need to explain: The most common drug in the `60s was marijuana, nearly as ubiquitous in youth communities as was bottled beer everywhere else in America. Motown became renowned for its tight orchestrations and catchy lyrics. Martin Luther King Jr. occupied a unique place in American political life. But veterans of the era are evidently not the principal audience for this book, which seems intended for graduate students in American history. They are well served by the authors, who rigorously defend their view that the `60s were in fact a time of civil war, and not merely civil disobedience: The body count in Vietnam and in Americas inner cities, they suggest, are argument enough. This war had its origins in the 1950s, they observe, in a time when a golden age of post-WWII prosperity ran counter to an escalating Cold War, which cost a fortune and led to the economic dislocations and spiraling inflation of the succeeding decade. One campaign in that war, centering on civil rights for ethnic minorities, began a decade earlier in such acts as Lt. Jackie Robinsons refusal in 1944 to sit at the back of a crowded bus. (Robinson would face a court-martial for his act of civil disobedience, and would soon thereafter break the color barrier in major-league baseball.) Yet a third front would open when a substantial number of young Americans rejected the values of their elders and the bankrupt promises of Presidents Johnson and Nixon. All combined, the authors write, to lead America to a period of unwonted civil violence. Isserman, a specialist in leftist politics, and Kazin, a student of modern conservativism, make a solid tag team. Their thoroughgoing research and vivid writing make this a book of interest to students and general readers alike. (45 photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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