The Spirit of the Sixties explains how and why the personal became political when Sixties activists confronted the institutions of American postwar culture.
The Spirit of the Sixties uses political personalism to explain how and why the personal became political when Sixties activists confronted the institutions of American postwar culture. After establishing its origins in the Catholic Worker movement, the Beat generation, the civil rights movement, and Ban-the-Bomb protests, James Farrell demonstrates the impact of personalism on Sixties radicalism.
Students, antiwar activists and counterculturalists all used personalist perspectives in the "here and now revolution" of the decade. These perspectives also persisted in American politics after the Sixties. Exploring the Sixties not just as history but as current affairs, Farrell revisits the perennial questions of human purpose and cultural practice contested in the decade.
James J. Farrell is Professor of History, Director of American Studies and Boldt Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities at St. Olaf College. He is the author of Inventing the American Way of Death and The Nuclear Devil's Dictionary.
"The Spirit of the Sixties is a moving and beautifully written analysis of how...the personal became political." -- American Studies
"Farrell covers a lot of ground and covers it well..." -- Social Anarchism
"The Spirit of the Sixties is an important and unique addition to the historiography of the sixties. Farrell has produced a well-written, cogently argued, and insightful volume on that puzzling, pyrotechnic decade." -- Journal of American History
"...original and compelling historical work. For anyone who wants to think hard about the meaning and practice of a politically engaged, morally-driven life, Farrell's elegantly written account of postwar radicalism will be a rewarding experience." -- American Quarterly
"Of the many recent studies of social movements in the 1960s, James Farrell's is among the most insightful, original, and important." -- W. J. Rorabaugh, University of Washington, for H-Net Book Review
"Because of its range as well as its illuminating motif, the book would be very useful in a number of college-level courses on twentieth-century America." -- Dale A. Johnson, Vanderbuilt University, in Religious Studies Review, April 2002
"...this work remains an important and thought-provoking contribution to existing literature on the sixties." -- Michigan Historical Review