1968 in America: Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generation

Charles Kaiser, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $0 (306p) ISBN 978-1-55584-242-0
Kaiser has no ideological ax to grind, which is refreshing, but in beckoning us to re-experience the idealism, chaos and exuberance of the 1960sand of 1968 in particularhe keeps tripping over his overheated prose. He was a Columbia freshman in 1968 and has been a reporter for the New York Times , Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal . The political shockwaves of the Vietnamese Tet offensive, the rise of black militancy, the loosening effect of rock 'n' roll and the end of the liberal consensus in America are among the phenomena related with a wealth of simmering incident and detail. Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign (for which the author was a volunteer worker) gets an excessive amount of space. The impact of the Beatles on history, as measured here, seems about as great as that of Martin Luther Kingor Nixon. This impressionistic montage ultimately succumbs to its lack of viewpoint. It's a juicy look back, replete with interviews, but a number of recent books cover the same ground much better. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-8021-3530-8
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-8021-9324-7
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