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Cover

America's Uncivil Wars

The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon

Mark Hamilton Lytle

Publication Date - February 2006

ISBN: 9780195174977

432 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $62.95

America's Uncivil Wars captures the broad sweep of this tumultuous era, analyzing both the cultural and political influences on the movements of the 1960s.

Description

In contrast with most histories of this period, America's Uncivil Wars: The Sixties Era from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon does not treat the 1960s as a single historical moment or as successive waves of activism. Rather, it employs a chronological narrative to identify three distinct phases during which events of the era unfolded. The first began with the cultural ferment of the 1950s and ended with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. During the second phase, from 1964-1968, the "uncivil" wars began in earnest: Americans disagreed about new social and cultural mores, protests against the Vietnam War increased in size and vehemence, and American cities erupted in racial violence. From 1967 through 1968, all of these forces combined to divide Americans more deeply than they had been since the Civil War. In the third phase, Richard Nixon promised to bring Americans together. However, a host of new value and identity movements--environmentalists, consumer advocates, feminists, gay, Latino, and Native American activists--frustrated his design. Only after the Watergate scandals forced this polarizing figure from office did a measure of civility return to the nation's public discourse.
America's Uncivil Wars captures the broad sweep of this tumultuous era, analyzing both the cultural and political influences on the movements of the 1960s. Paying particular attention to Latinos, Native Americans, feminism, and gay liberation, it integrates the politics of gender and race into the central political narrative. The book also covers such topics as McCarthyism; the FBI; rock and roll; teen culture in the 1950s; the origins of SDS, SNCC, and YAF; and the environmental and consumer movements. With its engaging narrative style and broad cultural emphasis, America's Uncivil Wars brings a fresh approach to our understanding of not only the 1960s but also U.S. history since 1945.

Reviews

"This is a very well-written and engaging book, which deftly synthesizes much of the scholarship on the 1960s. Its virtues are its breadth, its cogency, and its ability to make this turbulent time come alive in all sorts of ways." --Ed Linenthal, author of The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory

"This book is pure narrative history. It moves forward relentlessly, omnivorously, in torrents of precise and well-paced prose. It should be viewed, primarily, as a newsreel, a Bayeaux Tapestry, a mural in some palace of memory. The fundamental success of this book is Lytle's ability to zero in on the significant events, to place them in their proper context, and to tell his story as vividly as possible."--Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

Table of Contents

    Preface
    Introduction
    PART ONE: The Era of Consensus, 1954-63
    1. The Consensus
    2. The Cultural Cold War
    3. Cracks in the Consensus
    4. The New Generation
    5. The Cold War on the New Frontier
    6. The Second Civil War
    PART TWO: The Sixties, 1964-68
    7. 1964: Welcome to the 1960s
    8. Teach-in, Strike Out: The Uncivil Wars Heat Up
    9. The Great Freak Forward
    10. A Very Bad Year Begins
    11. A Bad Year Gets Worse: The Domestic War Front
    PART THREE: The Rise of Essentialist Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon, 1969-74
    12. The Rise of Gender and Identity Politics
    13. Identities of Race and Ethnicity
    14. Taking on the System
    15. The Uncivil Wars: Woodstock to Kent State
    16. Watergate: The Last Battle
    Epilogue: Who Won?
    Notes on Sources
    Index