978-1-4127-1009-1 / 141271009X

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About the book:

As the clock struck midnight on January 1, 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower rang in the New Year at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Eisenhower mingled with Augusta s white, male members. Women were not allowed to join this exclusive club. African-Americans need not apply.

While millions lived the American Dream in the early 1960s with their suburban homes, lush lawns, and chrome-encrusted cars millions of others seethed in discontent. African-Americans, north and south, were fed up with discrimination. Mothers were growing tired of their thankless role of housewife. Teenage Baby Boomers grew frustrated in a conservative, materialistic, sexually repressed society. And with the Cold War at its peak, everyone feared that The Bomb could drop at any moment and no fallout shelter was going to save them. Thus, the stage was set for one of the most explosive decades in American history.

The Sixties Chronicle explores those turbulent 10 years like no other book ever published. Hundreds of compelling photographs capture the drama and emotions of the era, both domestic and abroad. In-depth essays analyze the swirling currents of the times. And a 1,300-item timeline, running throughout the book, chronicles the Sixties most significant moments.

Beginning in 1960, extraordinary events signaled that the times were a-changin . Newly elected President John F. Kennedy, young and charismatic, promised a new generation of leadership. The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 pushed the United States and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. In 1963, three months after Martin Luther King s I Have a Dream speech in Washington, President Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas. Teenagers bopped to the music of the Beatles in 1964, but grim more reality set in a year later. President Lyndon Johnson, trying to stop Communist infiltration, escalated the war in Vietnam.

As the war grew out of control, with hundreds of American GIs dying in faraway jungles every month, the U.S. government offered male teenagers a choice: Go to war or go to prison. As a result, the generation gap widened into a giant chasm, with American youth burning draft cards, challenging cops, and destroying Selective Service offices. Many young people, disillusioned and disgusted, dropped out of society completely. They dodged the draft, fled to San Francisco, and indulged in a burgeoning counterculture one defined by long hair, flower power, and hallucinogenic drugs.

Other factions of society heeded calls for revolution. African-American militants cried Black Power, and soon race riots tore apart America s cities. The National Organization for Women demanded equal rights in 1966; two years later feminists tossed their bras into freedom ashcans. Free-speech activists, environmentalists, American Indians, Hispanic-Americans, homosexuals, and even right-wing conservatives all demanded that their voices be heard.

In 1968, it felt like the world was coming apart at the seams. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. North Vietnam s massive Tet Offensive caught American troops by surprise. And leftist revolts erupted throughout the world, most notably in Chicago, Paris, and Mexico City.

Amid the din, Americans took solace in the movies, television, music, and art of the decade. The Sixties Chronicle captures the flavor of the era with features on Psycho, Laugh-In, Janis Joplin, Andy Warhol, and many others. The thrilling story of the space race is also told, from Ham the astrochimp to Neil Armstrong s fist step on the moon.

Experience the most extraordinary era in modern history. From the Cold War to Woodstock, from skinny ties to tie-dyes, The Sixties Chronicle relives the decade that changed America.

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