In America Divided, Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin provide the definitive history of the 1960s, in a book that tells a compelling tale filled with fresh and persuasive insights.
Ranging from the 1950s right up to the debacle of Watergate, Isserman (a noted historian of the Left) and Kazin (a leading specialist in populist movements) not only recount the public and private actions of the era's many powerful political figures, but also shed light on the social, cultural, and grassroots political movements of the decade. Indeed, readers will find a seamless narrative that integrates such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and Operation Rolling Thunder with the rise of Motown and Bob Dylan, and that blends the impact of Betty Friedan, Martin Luther King, and George Wallace with the role played by organizations ranging from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee to the Campus Crusade for Christ. The authors' broad ranging approach offers us the most sophisticated understanding to date of the interaction between key developments of the decade, such as the Vietnam War, the rise and fall of the Great Society, and the conservative revival. And they break new ground in their careful attention to every aspect of the political and cultural spectrum, depicting the 1960s as a decade of right-wing resurgence as much as radical triumph, of Protestant apocalyptic revivalism as much as Roman Catholic liberalism and rising alternative religions.
Never before have all sides of the many political, social, and cultural conflicts been so well defined, discussed, and analyzed--all in a swiftly moving narrative. With America Divided, the struggles of the Sixties--and their legacy--are finally clear.