Nineteen Sixty-Eight in America
Music, Politics, Chaos, Counterculture, and the Shaping of a Generationby Charles Kaiser
“A splendidly evocative account of a historic year—a year of tumult, of trauma, and of tragedy.”—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
1968 was the year that defined the decade—Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, unprecedented antiwar riots disrupted the Democratic National Convention, and the Tet Offensive in Vietnam changed the course of the war. With this political unrest came a breakthrough of American counterculture into the mainstream led by students and protesters alongside the voices of Aretha Franklin, Simon and Garfunkel, and Bob Dylan.
Charles Kaiser’s 1968 in America is widely recognized as one of the best historic accounts of the 1960s. Largely based on unpublished interviews and documents (including in-depth conversations with anti-war presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy and Dylan), this is compulsively readable popular history. Now, fifty years later, and with a new introduction by Hendrik Hertzberg, it is even more clear that this was a uniquely terrible, wonderful, and pivotal year in the story of America.
“Charles Kaiser aims to convey not only what happened during the period but what it felt like at the time. Affecting touches bring back powerful memories, including strong accounts of the impact of the Tet offensive and of the frenzy aroused by Bobby Kennedy’s race for the presidency.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Kaiser’s now-canonical account of the time is detailed and passionate, always insightful and often delightful. He brings to it the scrupulousness of a scholar, the thoroughness of an archivist, the enthusiasm of a fan, the storytelling instincts of a novelist, and the curiosity and skepticism of a reporter whose byline has graced the trifecta of American journalism: the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.” —from the introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition by Hendrik Hertzberg
“A splendidly evocative account of a historic year–a year of tumult, of trauma, and of tragedy.” –Arthur Scheslinger, Jr.
“A chatty, personal view of the pivotal time. . . . This account will bring back memories.” –Booklist
“Kaiser’s book is an evocative chronicle, a paean to the ‘sixties’ generation by a member of the clan. . . . His indictment of Eugene McCarthy–a chief theme–is persuasive.” –Library Journal