It's hard to imagine a more useful multifunction library resource than this latest entry in the Columbia Guide series, which previously issued studies of the cold war and American women in the nineteenth century. University of New Mexico historian Farber and sex-and-courtship researcher Beth Bailey open with a 75-page overview of the 1960s. In part 2 (roughly 100 pages), nine authors summarize the historiography of 10 political, social, and cultural issues. Part 3 is an A-to-Z
glossary of key people and organizations; unlikely neighbors here include radical feminist Kate Millet and the military-industrial complex, Twiggy and transcendental meditation. Part 4 supplies brief essays on eight general topics, such as environmentalism, religion, and sports in the 1960s. Part 5 is a cross between an almanac and the Statistical Abstract
, capturing fascinating facts, trends, and demographics of the era. Part 6 offers a 1960s chronology (including the years when significant consumer products were introduced); part 7 is a valuable annotated bibliography. Everyone from "the Greatest Generation" to that generation's great-grandchildren can learn something here. Mary CarrollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From Library Journal
Eminent historians Farber (Age of Great Dreams) and Bailey (Sex in the Heartland) present an accessible, state-of-the-art overview of the turbulent Sixties. Part narrative history and interpretation, part almanac, chronology, and glossary, the book offers an introspective yet entertaining investigation for those who remember the age as well as for those just being introduced to it. The most stimulating chapter includes essays by contributing scholars who assess the legacies of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the New Left, the women's movement, and the sexual revolution. An excellent glossary, which includes one-paragraph to one-page views of well-known political leaders and such cultural icons as Twiggy, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and Janis Joplin, bolsters Farber's somewhat sketchy historical summary. In turn, short essays that discuss such topics as the environmental movement, significant legal cases, and religion enhance the glossary. The book concludes with a chronology, demographics, and a comprehensive annotated bibliography, which is noted more for its inclusiveness than the substance of the annotations. One small weakness in this seven-part book is that the affiliations and publications of the secondary contributors are not identified. For another collection of interpretative essays on the Sixties, see Alexander Bloom's Long Time Gone (Oxford Univ., 2001). Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
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