The Activist 1960s

Striving for Political and Social Empowerment in America


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SKU: 9781476690261 Categories: ,

About the Book

Throughout the Long Sixties, which spanned much of the seemingly quiescent 1950s and continued into the 1970s, progressive activists sought to change American policy both foreign and domestic. Beginning with a civil rights crusade that later expanded to a campaign against the Vietnam War, the movement eventually splintered into a series of focuses: racial, ethnic, demographic, political, cultural, gender-based and environmental.
This work details activists’ efforts to ensure basic rights through fostering civic engagement. Chapters demonstrate how the various campaigns within the movement were all successful to some extent, but none brought about the results that many desired. Nonetheless, they contributed to a more open, egalitarian, participatory and emancipated nation that is still being shaped today.

About the Author(s)

A professor emeritus of history and American studies at California State University, Chico, Robert C. Cottrell is the author of more than twenty books, including studies of the counterculture, the year 1968, American radicalism, black baseball and the World War II smokejumpers.

Bibliographic Details

Robert C. Cottrell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 351
Bibliographic Info: 62 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9026-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4777-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

 1. The Movement Begins 7

 2. The Impact of the ­Anti-Hero, High and Low 21

 3. The Revolt of the Young 31

 4. Striving for the Beloved Community 40

 5. Contending with the Kennedy Administration 47

 6. Mounting Frustration in the Civil Rights Camp: Martin, Malcolm, and Mississippi Freedom Summer 60

 7. Anger Rising and the Radicalization of Movement Activists 70

 8. Martin, Malcolm, and Bob 79

 9. Envisioning Participatory Democracy 91

10. Early Opposition to War in Southeast Asia 105

11. Teach-Ins, Naming That System, and a New SDS 114

12. The New Wave 129

13. Resistance 145

14. The American Counterculture 164

15. Marching Toward the Pentagon 182

16. Consciousness Raising 196

17. Season of the Witch 206

18. The Fading of the New Politics 221

19. Counterrevolution and Revolution 233

20. Liberation 251

21. Brown Power, Red Power, Yellow Power 261

22. People’s Power of a Different Cast 268

23. The Waning of the Movement but the Fight for Empowerment Continued 276

24. The Movement: A Very Brief Retrospective 292

Chapter Notes 295

Bibliography 325

Index 335

Book Reviews & Awards

“In this comprehensive examination of activism during the so-called Long Sixties, which began to take shape in the postwar US and continued into the 1970s, the author makes clear the potential of social and political change fueled by the activism of so many within the Baby Boom generation. … recommended”—Choice