Golden Years to Days of Hope and Rage: The Fifties and Sixties
Was it the best of times, or the worst? The 2-decade span of the 1950s and the 1960s evokes powerful sentiments from both sides of the American cultural-political spectrum. Nostalgia (historical myopia) often draws those on the right toward the Fifties and those on the left toward the Sixties. But why?
We must note, of course, that the division of history and culture into ten-year spans is arbitrary and easily misinterpreted. Still, our decades merit pondering. How did the 1950s unveil American racism, sexism, environmental disregard, and religious intolerance? And how did that set the stage for the movements of the Sixties, from civil rights and feminism to environmentalism and interreligious exploration? How did our political parties switch polarities? How can we assess the influence of television or advertising? Of the automobile or suburbia? Or of Rock ‘n Roll? How did the Vietnam Warchange America and the world? And have we outlived the assassinations? Did hope finally triumph over rage?
We'll take a four-week tour of the events, the clichés, the mysteries and the complex dynamics of a period that ought to be better remembered:
- Ahh, television!
- Advertising's Midas Touch
- The drive to suburbia
- Conformity to chaos?
- Civil rights: from lynchings to the struggle
- Housewives and feminists
- How rock 'n roll changed music forever
- The Pill and the Sexual revolution
- Vietnam, America, and the world
- Left and Right: how the Parties switched poles
- 1968: the year everything changed
- The spirituality of the East
- The rediscovery of the Earth Culture Evolves
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