—Irwin Unger





Someone has described 1968 as the worst year of the century. It was, if you were a middle class, liberal American who believed the social and political promise of the sixties was moving toward a quick and favorable resolution. In that critical twelve-month period all the liberal hopes of the decade seemed to evaporate. But the year was not an unrelieved disaster, even from the perspective of such people. It was also a time when old evils reversed and new social forces began their long march through the institutions. It was, in a word, the worst of years and also, in some ways, the best of years.

The headlines of 1968 proclaimed war, political insurgency and racial strife. No other year of the century warranted so many edge-to-edge New York Times banner headlines.

January began with public attention still focused on Vietnam. There, over half a million American troops were ensnared in a dirty, morally dubious war to "contain" communism in Asia by defeating the Communist North Vietnamese and Vietcong guerrilla attempt to conquer the South. On January 30, at Tet, the Lunar New Year, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong launched a coordinated attack on scores of cities, military bases, and provincial capitals. Their most visible target was the American embassy compound in Saigon, South Vietnam's capital, seat of American power in the country.

As military actions the attacks failed. Communist casualties were ferocious. But the Tet offensive reversed the course of the Vietnam War. From the beginning, when American combat troops had first been landed in Vietnam in the spring of 1965, the American government had been promising "light at the end of the tunnel." Now it seemed that the government had miscalculated the enemy's strength; victory was clearly still a long way off. Nothing so shocked the American public as the Vietcong breakthrough onto the Embassy grounds. All the invading "Cong" were killed after a fierce fight, but they had won an impressive symbolic victory against vaunted American power.

Tet recharged the antiwar movement. A coalition of pre-Vietnam pacifists, old-line political radicals, conscience liberals, new-style student activists the antiwar forces had swung into mass action in early 1965 with the first student-faculty teach-ins following Johnson's Operation Rolling Thunder, the mass bombing of the North. Teach-ins soon gave way to marches and other mass demonstrations, some of which erupted in violence. In October 1967 the anti-Vietnam forces, led by the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam (the "Mobe"), led a march on the Pentagon, the headquarters of American military power around the world. Soon after, goaded by a formidable anti-Vietnam revolt among liberal Democrats, Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota announced that he planned to challenge the renomination of President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.

In the early weeks of 1968 a horde of students a sprinkling of celebrities, and a half-dozen experienced politicos descended on New Hampshire for the first of the presidential primaries. Trimming their hair, donning skirts and jackets, assuming a respectful mien, the "clean-for-Gene" students mobilized the anti-Johnson and antiwar feelings among the state's Democrats. The McCarthy peace forces startled the nation and created a credible challenge by coming to within an eyelash of beating the president in the ballot. In mid-March Senator Robert Kennedy of New York, President John Kennedy's younger brother, long an opponent of Vietnam, but unwilling to take on an incumbent president of his own party, announced that he too was in the nomination race. At the end of the month, faced with the prospect that he would lose big to McCarthy in the Wisconsin primary, and resolved to try for peace once again, Johnson declared on nationwide TV that he would not run for a second full term. In this same speech he announced a partial halt in the bombing of North Vietnam, and soon after preliminary peace talks began in Paris.
In fact, behind the scenes, the president and his closest advisers had reached a major policy decision ending the relentless escalation of American commitment in Vietnam. Johnson had called Tet an American-South Vietnam victory in public. The "stated purposes of the general uprising have failed," he told news people in early February. When the American people knew the facts, he was sure, they would also deny the Communists a "Psychological victory"

He was wrong. The American people, as a whole, did give the North Vietnamese-Vietcong a psychological victory. Worse, so did the foreign policy establishment, the men who had conceived the American anti-Communist containment policy in Europe after 1945 and then, later, had approved the Vietnam intervention. This small group of "Wise Men"—retired and semi-retired foreign policy advisers of several postwar presidents—along with their counterparts in the middle and upper reaches of the Pentagon and State Department, were as startled and dismayed as the general public and the media by what Tet had revealed of the Resilience of the Vietnamese Communists after years of brutal and costly war. In meetings with the president, with Clark Clifford, the new secretary of defense, and with military leaders, the Wise Men and their allies in the bureaucracy declared the war unwinnable and further escalation a mistake. The president twisted and turned to avoid their conclusion, but felt compelled to turn down General Westmoreland's request for another 206,000 Vietnam troops. Shortly after, he renounced a second full term and offered the olive branch to Hanoi. It would take five full years before the last American troops left Vietnam, but in early 1968, the remorseless escalation process ceased. Never again would the number of American combat men be greater than just after Tet.

No one in the peace movement knew of the Vietnam turnaround Tet had created within the administration. It probably would have made little difference. Few in the movement were patient people; fewer had much confidence in their government's promises. Through the spring, the McCarthy and Kennedy antiwar forces slugged it out in the primaries, each side attracting its own special breed of followers lowers. Bobby was warm, passionate, and aggressive, and he won the support of minorities, blue-collar workers, and other folk susceptible to "expressive" politics. McCarthy was cool, cerebral, and witty; he won the college students, the liberal professionals, the idealistic white middle class. In California the two fought for the biggest delegate bloc of all, with Bobby winning by a small margin on primary day, June 6. That evening, just after delivering his victory statement, he was assassinated in Los Angeles by a young Palestinian living in Pasadena who resented his pro-lsrael policies.

Kennedy's death threw the Democratic nomination into chaos. Johnson's heir apparent was Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the former liberal senator from Minnesota. Humphrey did not like Johnson's Vietnam policy, but had loyally supported it. His position made him the inevitable candidate of the party's "hawks" and turned his name into an epithet within the antiwar movement. Johnson's withdrawal had come too late to allow Humphrey to enter most of the primaries, but in the succeeding weeks he had accumulated delegates from the machine-dominated states and from places where his long support of bread-and-butter liberal causes had created obligations.

By this time the civil rights movement was coming apart. Beginning with the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, the elaborate structure of legal southern segregation had begun to disintegrate. Simultaneously, the system of black disfranchisement in the South came under fierce attack. The courts and other agencies of federal government would play a role in these processes, but much of the moral energy of the anti-segregation and voting rights drives would come from black Americans themselves, allied with white liberals whose deep pockets and media access would prove invaluable.

Five organizations were at the van of the civil rights movements of the fifties and sixties. Two, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League, were formed before World War II and represented the conservative right wing of the civil rights movement. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), though organized in 1942 by pacifists, was, from the start, more aggressive in pursuing racial equality. In 1957 Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow organizers of the victorious Montgomery bus boycott formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In 1960, black student activists, in the wake of the Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in efforts to desegregate southern lunch counters, created the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Whether militant or moderate, all of these were biracial in their membership; each professed as its goal a colorblind society of "black and white together."

Though only one of five, SCLC was the most effective civil rights group, and its leader, the Reverend King, the most powerful spokesman for black aspirations. Kings influence depended on his dazzling eloquence and his tactics-nonviolent civil disobedience- borrowed from the Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi. The forbearance of his disciples, though attacked by cattle prods, police nightsticks, and high pressure hoses, aroused enormous sympathy for their cause among the white middle class. Martyrs made by brutal racist southern sheriffs and Ku Klux Klanners brought white money and even white bodies to the South to help the cause of desegregation and political enfranchisement. By the mid-sixties, the civil rights movement, under King's charismatic leadership, had come close to destroying the last vestiges of southern Jim Crow and compelling the federal government to force compliance with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments. King's preeminence was confirmed when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

But within the civil rights movement King was not unchallenged. By 1966 SNCC and CORE, influenced by Third World anti-colonialism, by the violent ghetto riots of the "long, hot summers" of 1965-67, by the Black nationalism of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, had come to feel that nonviolence and biracialism were feeble weapons against racial inequality in America. Under new firebrand leaders, they raised the banner of "black power" separatism, rejected nonviolence, and excluded whites from membership. King tried hard simultaneously to retain the good will of the young hotheads and of the white liberals whose support had been indispensable in breaking down the barriers to formal equality, but the task was daunting.

King's response to his challengers was to bring the war to the North where racism took more subtle forms of job and housing discrimination than Jim Crow and disfranchisement. In 1966 SCLC launched the Chicago Movement to force the city to outlaw racially restrictive real estate covenants. King's rallies and marches tripped off violence worse than any in the South and produced only meager results. Clearly, inequality in the North would be a tougher nut to crack than anything yet attempted.

At the end of 1967 King tried to resolve the dilemmas of his leadership and of the faltering civil rights movement by launching a "Poor People's Campaign" a massive assault on poverty which sought through federal action to benefit all the nation's poor, but especially non-whites. During the spring of 1968, black, brown, red, and white poor Americans would converge on Washington. There they would establish an encampment that would bear witness to America's failures to end economic and social inequality and would put pressure on Congress to appropriate massive funds to help the economically disfranchised.

The plan was doomed to failure. Ever since mid-decade Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty had been waning fast. Launched in the wake of LBJ's landslide victory over Goldwater in 1964, it had poured hundreds of millions into programs designed to elevate the poor primarily by helping them to help themselves. By 1968 the war had lost its steam. Battles between Office of Economic Opportunity officials who administered Johnson Great Society programs and local mayors, middle class disgust with radical manipulators of community action programs, and growing public unease over the economy, all undermined the War on Poverty. The final blow to forward momentum came with the imposition by Congress of a surcharge on the income tax to help pay for Vietnam. Wilbur Mills of the House Ways and Means Committee exacted as his price for approving increased taxes a severe cutback in government domestic outlays. Poverty programs did not cease, but thereafter there would be no new ones.

King would, then, be running into a legislative wall when his mule-drawn poor people's caravans converged on Washington in May. But King himself would never get there. In mid-March he had agreed to support a strike of the Memphis sanitation workers, almost all black, to raise their appalling wages. He visited Memphis several times and arrived for the last time in April 1968. There, preparing at his motel for dinner at a supporter's home one evening, he was shot down by a white ax-convict probably in the pay of rich southern racists.

News of King's assassination set off a wave of ghetto riots that made those of past summers seem like tea parties. Mobs of blacks burned and looted stores, smashed windows, and, at times, attacked whites on the streets. Some of the worst destruction took place in Washington, D.C. within sight of the White House. Thousands of National Guardsmen and federal troops were called in to quell violence in Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, and other cities.

White liberals indulged in an orgy of guilt and contrition over King's murder. Memorial services were conducted on hundreds of college campuses; politicians issued statements condemning white racism; clergymen announced that America was a society with a sick soul. Predictably, civil rights activists took the opportunity to denounce the nation's racial regime and demand that it be changed. King's funeral in Atlanta, the city where he had been born and educated, was an occasion for national mourning. Every major national politician made an appearance. King was buried at South View Cemetery; his tombstone bore the words: "Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty, I'm Free At Last."

The Poor People's Campaign was a dismal failure. King's successor at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, lacked King's prestige and magnetism. But even King would have found it difficult to extract massive aid programs out of a nation and Congress which were beginning to lose their faith in the economy and in expensive federal social programs simultaneously. So long as the economic pie was growing quickly, Great Society programs and the War on Poverty had seemed painless. By mid-1968, the bills for the Vietnam War were coming due. Prices had begun to rise; hence the ten percent surcharge in income taxes. There was no chance that SCLC could get what it wanted.

Yet the campaign went on if only in tribute to the fallen leader. Hundreds of "poor people"—white, red, brown, but predominantly black—came to Washington in the early spring and camped out on the Mall in tar paper and plywood shacks. They sortied from "Resurrection City" to hold demonstrations and petition Congress and other federal agencies for action on their agenda.

It rained; it rained for days on end. Shacks leaked; campsite streets turned into quagmires. The deluge dampened spirits as well as bodies. It was also difficult to maintain sanitation or keep order in Resurrection City. Local ghetto toughs, as well as some imported from Chicago and Milwaukee on the theory that delinquents knew all about delinquency and could control it, preyed on the law-abiding occupants. On June 25, with their permit expired and their mission unaccomplished, the remaining poor people's campaigners allowed themselves to be peaceably dispersed by the Washington police.

The SCLC would limp on, but it would never again mount a major civil rights campaign. SNCC would soon die; CORE would sink into futility. By mid-1968 the Second Reconstruction, dismantling the edifice of legal segregation and restoring the franchise to black Americans, was over. Much had been achieved, but millions of black Americans remained poor, ill-housed, apathetic, and ghettoized. n 1968 the student New Left reached its apogee and then began to recede. Though more than Students for a Democratic Society, SDS was its core. Founded in 1960 and given its holy tablets at Port Huron, Michigan in 1962, SDS at first rejected the Marxist dogmatism of the Old Left, its faith in vanguard parties, and its vision of the proletariat as the prime agent of change. The middle class could make a revolution, indeed should make a revolution, for even in rich America human dignity was affronted, human potential wasted, human capacity for joy diminished, by an insensitive, oppressive "system." SDS quickly identified with the civil rights and antiwar movements and, though it sought to avoid "single issue" politics, became the magnet for campus radicals of every persuasion and every cause seeking a home. As it grew in fame and influence on the nation's campuses, it won a following among a wide circle of adult allies within the intellectual and artistic communities, men and women enchanted with its youthful élan and grace.

By 1968, under new leadership unimpressed with the democratic left's previous bitter encounters with dogmatic communism, SDS became a self-announced revolutionary organization. The new mood first became manifest at Columbia University in the spring, when Mark Rudd, head of SDS's local chapter, led a demonstration that quickly turned into an occupation of five major Columbia buildings. The Battle for Morningside Heights in the nation's media capital, riveted the attention of the nation. All over the affluent Western world students were in revolt. Mark Rudd had his counterparts Danny ("the Red") Cohn-Bendit at Nanterre in Paris and Rudi Dutschke at the Free University of Berlin. The Columbia insurgency seemed at the time part of the convulsive death spasm of a transatlantic deferential and exploitative order.

Eventually the university administration called in the New York City police and cleared the Columbia buildings with the inevitable brutality. But the memory lingered on. Mark Rudd and several of his lieutenants became "heavies" in the SDS national office, and at the end of 1968 helped to engineer a major turn-away from SDS's original vision of change for oneself to change for the oppressed Third World both at home and abroad. The following summer during its annual convention at Chicago, SDS would tear itself apart over who should lead the revolution. Soon after, many of the "Weathermen" survivors would go underground to make war against "Leviathan" while hiding icing out in "the belly of the beast."

In early August at Miami the Republicans would nominate Richard Nixon for president, with Spiro Agnew as his running mate. The Democrats met two weeks later in Chicago to choose their candidates. The tumultuous week of the Chicago convention would guarantee Democratic defeat in November and the end of the liberal era.

As early as December 1967 the nation's dissenters had targeted the Democratic convention as an occasion to express what was wrong with America. In recent months the party had been the major battleground between the hawks and the doves. But beyond that, ever since the New Deal, the Democrats had been the vehicle of liberalism and measured change in American life, as well as chief exponent of extending the nation's reach around the world. The forces that converged on Chicago in August were determined either to defend those roles or attack them, both with equal vehemence.

Heeding Mayor Richard Daley's warnings that the city would use force to keep order, McCarthy warned his followers to stay home. Many came anyway. So did a collection of militant antiwar people connected with the Mobe who intended to march and demonstrate, though Daley refused to grant them the permits they wanted.

A final ingredient in the explosive mixture was the Yippies, led by two absurdist zanies, Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman. The Yippies were an attempt to merge the political with the counterculture strains of sixties dissent. Rubin himself was a product of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement who later moved close to the hippie psychedelic culture of Haight-Ashbury across the Bay in San Francisco. Hoffman began as a civil rights activist and then adapted to the new hippie bohemia emerging in New York's East Village. The two men met when Rubin came east in 1967 to lead the Mobe's Pentagon demonstration.

The counterculture which they shared had evolved rapidly under the influence of LSD and other mind-altering drugs introduced and disseminated in the late fifties and early sixties by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Ken Kesey, and other pioneers of "innerspace" exploration. By 1967, in San Francisco's "Hashbury," and New York's East Village hippie communities dedicated to gratifying the instinctual life without guilt or limit had appeared.

Hippiedom had its characteristic dress (peasant cum working class), music (acid rock), cuisine ("natural"), language (ineffable), and drug (LSD). Its avowed values were feeling, liberation, peace, naturalness, and spontaneity, but the 1967 "Summer of Love," when thousands of longhaired youths descended on the Bay Area to create a summer hippie Eden, turned into a squalid, unsanitary, violence-ridden interlude. Thereafter, the hippie thing deflated in Hashbury but radiated in widening circles from its two initial centers into the university districts, the local bohemian, and, as "communes," into the mountains of California, Vermont, and New Mexico.

The Rubin-Hoffman affiliation was a marriage made in heaven. On January 1, 1968, while coming down from a New Year's eve psychedelic high, the two conceived "Yippie" (ostensibly the Youth International Party) to bring the disruptive, self-dramatizing tactics of radical street theater to Chicago. Yippies would show up the Democrats' planned "Festival of Death"' with their own, irreverent "Festival of Life."

The official convention results were as anticipated. With Robert Kennedy dead, the peace forces were overwhelmed. Humphrey won the nomination on the first ballot with Senator Edmund Muskie as his running mate. But the real drama was on the streets, where thousands of demonstrators battled with Mayor Daley's police and the National Guard. The TV cameras caught the violence, and for a week following, the viewing public saw scenes of tear gas, flailing nightsticks, flying bricks, shattering glass, and screaming young men and women with bloodied heads. A later official report would label the events in the Chicago parks in front of the delegate hotels "a police riot," but many viewers condemned the demonstrators for causing the trouble and the Democrats for not keeping the peace.

The fall presidential campaign was a close race. The public did not warm readily to Nixon. He was still "tricky Dick" to many who remembered his political tactics against his opponents in the past. No amount of "new Nixon" packaging would convince confirmed Nixon-haters that the Republican candidate could be trusted. Liberals and civil libertarians could not forgive his anti-Communist activities as member of the House Un-American Activities Committee back in the fifties.

But Humphrey labored under enormous initial disadvantages. As Johnson's vice president he inherited all LBJ's opponents left and right. Peace activists and the still larger group of antiwar skeptics believed he would continue the Johnson hawkish policies. Though the president had aborted the Vietnam escalation process and initiated peace talks, these had not made headway, and many antiwar voters insisted the vice president make some dramatic new move to show he had freed himself from bondage to his predecessor's bankrupt Vietnam policies. After four years of unswerving loyalty, however, Humphrey found it difficult to break the ties with the administration. Unable to convince the public that he was more than a Johnson clone, Humphrey could not get his campaign off the ground. Wherever he went he was confronted by hecklers who disrupted his speeches. Money was hard to raise, and the president, hoping to keep Humphrey from repudiating his policies, refused to tap the financial resources he commanded to help out.

Even more serious was the threat to Humphrey from the right. In mid-decade a new player, the "backlash" voter, had appeared on the political stage. Backlash voters were predominantly white, working class or lower level white-collar workers who perceived themselves as upright, hardworking, self-made men and women. They resented the "limousine liberals" whose money allowed them to escape the consequences of racial adjustment. They resented the university students who failed to appreciate their privileged status. They resented the militant poor and their supporters who bit the hands that fed them. They resented the peace demonstrators who desecrated American flags, burned their draft cards, and cheered for Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese Communists. They resented the longhaired, spaced-out hippies who rejected middle class morals and comforts and lived in libertine squalor. They resented the left intellectuals who supported rights for blacks, Communists, and other dissenters from mainstream American views.

Their chief spokesman was George Corley Wallace, former governor of Alabama, the man who in 1963, had tried to bar black students from the University of Alabama despite a federal court order and the support of the Kennedy administration. Wallace had gone on from this incident to run in Democratic presidential primaries in the north in 1964, on a platform that was a litany of backlash resentments, and had done surprisingly well. In 1968 he was even better prepared and managed to get his name and that of his new party on the ballots of most of the states.

For a time the polls showed the Wallace appeal likely to cut deeply into Humphrey's vote. Blue-collar unionists, the core of the traditional Democratic constituency, were drifting to Wallace despite Humphrey's long pro-labor record. As late as September 20 the polls showed Nixon with 43 percent of the vote, Humphrey with 28, and the Wallace-Curtis Le May ticket with 21. Equally bad, many middle class antiwar Democrats seemed likely to sit the election out, refuse to vote at all.

Then the tide began to turn. In early October a desperate Humphrey announced that he would end the bombing of North Vietnam completely in exchange for forward movement in Paris toward a peace agreement. Money began to pour into the Democratic campaign. Better yet, the union leadership awakened to the danger of membership defection to Wallace and a resulting Republican victory. Before long union officials were bombarding members and their families with exposés of Wallace's anti-labor record in Alabama and the pocketbook dangers of a Nixon win. Five days before the election Gene McCarthy himself abandoned his sulk and endorsed the vice president.

Yet Nixon squeaked by. Recognizing the dangers of alienating moderate voters, he had chosen to avoid directly cultivating the backlash himself. This tack did not preclude a "southern strategy," promising to appoint judicial conservatives to the Supreme Court and avoid pushing the sixties" civil rights laws too hard. It also did not restrain Republican vice presidential candidate Spiro Agnew, a coarse-grained man, addicted to racial and ethnic epithets. Nixon took the relative high road, talking about "bringing us together"; Agnew talked of "fat Japs," "Polacks," and "law and order."

On November 5 the Nixon-Agnew ticket got 302 electoral and 31.7 million popular votes to Humphrey-Muskie's 191 and 31.2 million. Wallace had gotten 13.5 percent of the total.

A year mostly of endings and reversings, 1968 was also a year of new social beginnings. Black consciousness may have passed its peak, but the women's movement, already recharged by Betty Friedan's 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, took a bold new direction. Younger women, many veterans of SNCC and SDS, began to probe the depths of female oppression through consciousness-raising and demand a more aggressive, direct action approach to women's rights. By the end of the year groups like Radical Women, The Feminists, and WITCH had sprung up in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and other large, cosmopolitan cities. In September, the new "liberationists" made headlines when they picketed and attempted to disrupt the Miss America contest in Atlantic City. The demonstrators, mostly from New York's Radical Women, did not "burn" brassieres, but it was here that the myth originated.

During the last few weeks of the year the papers were filled with accounts of the "transition" between administrations. But the big media story was the moon race. On December 24, for the first time in history, live human beings—rasher then television cameras—saw the dark side of the moon as Apollo 8, with three American astronauts, whipped around it twice and then headed back to earth. The first moon landing itself would not come until the following July, but at Christmastime 1968 humans saw their first pictures of the whole, shining earth from deep, outer space. It created a sense of wonder and perhaps a desire to escape the very earthbound cares of a year when old dreams died and new ones were at most possibilities.

Wounded American soldiers await rescue helicopter behind Viet Cong lines.

Vietnamese woman clutches a seriously wounded child.

President Lyndon Johnson declines to seek re-election and says that steps are being taken to de-escalate the war in Viet Nam.

Senator Robert Kennedy and his wife Ethel seen campaining.
Photo: Burt Glinn ©1968 Magnum Photos

Gold Medal winner Tommy Smith (center) and John Carlos raise gloved hand in Black Power Salute during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem at Mexico City's Summer Olympics.
Photo: AP/Wide World Photos

Only hours before he was shot in approximately the same spot, Martin Luther King, Jr. stands on a balcony in Memphis, flanked by Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

Police haul away one of the Poor People's Campaign demonstrators from in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

In Atlanta, over 300,000 people followed Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral wagon drawn by plow mules.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

Looters run from a burning store in Chicago during response to King's death.
Photo: Duane Hall ©1968

Mark Rudd speaks on behalf of students occupying Columbia University.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

Helmeted N.Y. policeman forcibly ejects a Columbia student protester.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

Republican Team.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

Chicago's Mayor Daley delivers an angry speech at the Democratic Convention.
Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

Demonstrators clash with National Guardsmen in Chicago.
Photo: Duane Hall ©1968

Crew of Apollo 8—Borman, Lovell, and Anders.
Photo: NASA

Earth and Moonscape viewed from Apollo 8.
Photo: NASA



I. Vietnam War and Antiwar Movement

Peter Braestrup,
Big Story: How the American Press and
Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968
in Vietnam and Washington

Richard Cummings,
The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein
and the Liberal Dream

Michael Ferber and Staughton Lynd,
The Resistance (1971)

David Halberstam,
The Best and the Brightest (1972)

Fred Halstead,
Out Now! A Participant's Account of the
American Movement Against the Vietnam War

George C. Herring,
America's Longest War: The United
States and Vietnam,
1950-1975 (1986)

Seymour Hersh,
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and
its Aftermath

Arthur Hertzog,
McCarthy for President (1969)

Stanley Karnow
Vietnam: A History (1983)

Louis Menashe and Ronald Radosh (eds.),
U.S.A (1967)

Don Oberdorfer,
TET! Turning Point in the Vietnam War

Thomas Powers,
The War at Home: Vietnam and the
American People,
1964-1968 (1973)

Nancy Zaroulis and Gerald Sullivan,
Who Spoke Up?:
American Protest Against the War in Vietnam,

II. The New Left and Student Revolt

Jerry Avorn, Up
Against the Ivy Wall: A History of the
Columbia Crisis

Wini Breines,
The Great Refusal: Community and
Organization in the New Left 1962-1968

Sara Davidson,
Loose Change: Three Women of the

Lewis Feuer,
The Conflict of Generations: The Character
and Significance of Student Movements

Todd Gitlin,
The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage

Roger Kahn,
The Battle for Morningside Heights: Why
Students Rebel

Leo Litwak and Herbert Wilner,
College Days in
Earthquake Country: Ordeal at San Francisco State, a
Personal Record

James Miller,
Democracy is in the Streets: From Port
Huron to the Siege of Chicago

Stanley Rothman and Robert S. Lichter
Roots of
Radicalism: Jews, Christians and the New Left

Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS

Irwin Unger,
The Movement: A History of the American
New Left, 1959
-1972 (1974)

III. Civil Rights and Black Protest Movements

Rhoda Lois Blumberg,
Civil Rights: The 1960s Freedom Struggle (1984)

Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America (1967)

Clayborne Carson, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981)

Eldrige Cleaver, Soul on Ice (1968)

Charles Fager, Uncertain Resurrection: The Poor People's Washington Campaign (1969)

David Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Ir., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1968)

Ben W. Gilbert, Ten Blacks From the White House: Anatomy of the Washington Riots of 1968 (1968)

C. Eric Lincoln,
The Black Moslems in America (1973)

Stephen B. Oates, Let The Trumpet Sound: The Life of Martin Luther King, Ir. (1982)

Harvard Sitkoff,
The Struggle for Black Equality (1981)

IV. Mainstream Politics

Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, and Bruce Page,
American Melodrama: The Presidential Campaign of
1968 (1969)

Lester David and Irene David, Bobby Kennedy: The
Making of a Folk Hero

Eric Goldman,
The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson (1976)



Doris Kearnes,
Lyndon Johnson and the American

Joe McGinniss,
The Selling of the President, 1968 (1970)

Norman Mailer,
Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An
Informal History of the Republican and Democratic
Conventions of 1968

Herbert Schandler,
The Unmaking of a President:
Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,
Robert Kennedy and His

Carl Solberg,
Hubert Humphrey: A Biography (1984)

Theodore White,
The Making of the President 1968: A
Narrative History of American Politics in Action

Jules Witcover, 85
Days: The Last Campaign of Robert

V. "Backlash"

Philip Crass
The Wallace Factor (1976)

Marshall Frady,
Wallace (1968)

Theo Lippman, Jr.,
Spiro Agnew's America (1972)

Martin Mayer,
The Teachers' Strike: New York, 1968

Kevin Phillips,
The Emerging Republican Majority (1969)

Vl. The Great Society

Amory Bradford,
Oakland's Not for Burning (1968)

Kenneth Clark and Jeannette Hopkins, A Relevant War Against Poverty (1968)

Allen J. Matusow, The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (1984)

Daniel Moynihan, Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding: Community Action in the War on Poverty (1969)

James T. Patterson, America's Struggle Against Poverty, 1900-1980 (1981)

Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare (1971)

David Zarefsky, President Johnson's War on Poverty: Rhetoric and History (1986)

Vll. The Counterculture and "Liberation" Movements

R. G. Davis,
The San Francisco Mime Troupe: The First
Ten Years

John D'Emilio,
Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The
Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States,

Sara Evans,
Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's
Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New

Shulamith Firestone,
The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for
Feminist Revolution

Vivian Gornick and Barbara K. Moran (eds.),
Women in
Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness

Abbie Hoffman,
Revolution for the Hell of It (1968)

Judith Hole and Ellen Levine,
Rebirth of Feminism (1971)

Laurence Leamer,
The Paper Revolutionaries: The Rise of
the Underground Press

Timothy Leary,
Flashbacks: An Autobiography (1983)

Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain,
Acid Dreams: The CIA and
the Sixties Rebellion

Robin Morgan,
Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of
a Feminist

Robin Morgan (ed.),
Sisterhood is Powerful: An
Anthology of Writings From the Women's Liberation

Abe Peck,
Uncovering the Sixties: The Life and Times of
the Underground Press

Charles Perry,
The Haight-Ashbury, A History (1984)

Theodore Roszak,
The Making of a Counter Culture:
Reflections on the Technocratic Society and its Youthful

Jay Stevens,
Storming Heaven: LSD and the American

Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett,
POPism: The Warhol
60's (1980)

Tom Wolfe,
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1969)