Fiction of the Past: The Sixties in American History

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9780312219307: Fiction of the Past: The Sixties in American History

A myth-dispelling chronicle of the student unrest and youth culture of the 1960s places these events in a firm historical perspective showing the movement's steady growth out of a long-standing radical tradition.

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About the Author:

Dominick J. Cavallo is professor of history at Adelphi University. He lives in Garden City, New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this eclectic study, Cavallo, history professor at Adelphi University, relates the youth culture of the 1960s to longstanding American strains of individualism and autonomy. Even the supposed "organization men" of the 1950s raised their children to thrive as competitive individualists, he argues, while Beat-era hippies followed mythic visions of the wild American West. Though many of the themes in this book have been fully treated elsewhere, Cavallo's achievement is to startlingly juxtapose them. Thus Emerson's ponderings on self-reliance butt up against the Grateful Dead's psychedelic peregrinations. Bob Dylan's anti-corporate ethic borrows from early antifederalist opponents of the Constitution. And a digression on the Haight-Ashbury guerrilla theater troupe known as the Diggers puts a surreal spin on Thomas Jefferson's theories of moral instinct and social amity. In a final section, Cavallo sources the failure of the New Left in a fundamental American ambivalence about preserving economic liberty while preaching the communal nature of democracy. It's a contradiction obliquely summed up by Neil Young: "I'm lucky. Somehow by doing what I wanted to do, I manage to give people what they don't want to hear and they still come back."
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Cavallo, Dominick J.
Published by U.S.A.: St. Martin's Press (1999)
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