Debating the 1960s: Liberal, Conservative, and Radical Perspectives

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The conventional interpretation of the 1960s emphasizes how liberal, even radical, the decade was. It was, after all, the age of mass protests against the Vietnam War and social movements on behalf of civil rights and women's rights. It was also an era when the counterculture challenged many of the values and beliefs held by morally traditional Americans. But a newer interpretation stresses how truly polarized the 1960s were. It portrays how radicals, liberals, and conservatives repeatedly clashed in ideological combat for the hearts and minds of Americans. Millions in the center and on the right contested the counterculture, defended the Vietnam War, and opposed civil rights. Debating the 1960s explores the decade through the arguments and controversies between radicals, liberals, and conservatives. The focus is on four main areas of contention: social welfare, civil rights, foreign relations, and social order. The book also examines the emergence of the New Left and the modern conservative movement. Finally, it assesses the enduring importance of the 1960s on contemporary American politics and society. Combining analytical essays and historical documents, the book highlights the polarization of the decade by focusing on the political, social, and cultural debates that divided the nation then and now.
 

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Contents

THE LIBERALRADICAL DEBATES OF THE 1960s
3
EXCERPTS FROM THE PORT HURON STATEMENT STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY 1962
75
JOHN F KENNEDYS RADIO AND TELEVISION REPORT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON CIVIL RIGHTS JUNE 11 1963
78
LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON REMARKS ON SIGNING THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT AUGUST 201 964
83
CARL WITTMAN AND TOM HAYDEN AN INTERRACIAL MOVEMENT OF THE POOR? 1963
85
LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON PEACE WITHOUT CONQUEST APRIL 7 1965
87
PAUL POTTER NAME THE SYSTEM APRIL 17 1965
92
EXCERPTS FROM RIGHTS IN CONFLICT CHICAGOS 7 BRUTAL DAYS A REPORT SUBMITTED BY DANIEL WALKER DIRECTOR OF THE...
96
PRINCIPLES OF THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY 1962
171
EXCERPTS FROM JOHN F KENNEDYS COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS AMERICAN UNIVERSITY JUNE 10 1963
176
EXCERPTS FROM LYNDON B JOHNSONS COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN MAY 22 1964
183
EXCERPTS FROM BARRY GOLDWATERS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION JULY 16 1964
187
EXCERPTS FROM RONALD REAGAN A TIME FOR CHOOSING OCTOBER 27 1964
193
EXCERPTS FROM RICHARD NIXONS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION AUGUST 8 1968
198
SELECTED READINGS
203
INDEX
207

THE LIBERALCONSERVATIVE DEBATES OF THE 1960s
99
THE SHARON STATEMENT SEPTEMBER 11 1960
169
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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About the author (2008)

Michael W. Flamm is associate professor of history at Ohio Wesleyan University. He is a scholar of modern U.S. political history with a research focus on the 1960s. He is the author of Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s. He is currently researching and writing a book on the Harlem Riot of July 1964 entitled In the Heat of the Summer. David Steigerwald is associate professor of history at Ohio State University and teaches at the university's Marion Campus. Among his books is The Sixties and the End of Modern America. He is now finishing a book on American intellectuals and the affluent society.

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