To some, 1968 was the year of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Yet it was also the year of the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy assassinations; the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Prague Spring; the antiwar movement and the Tet Offensive; Black Power; the generation gap; avant-garde theater; the upsurge of the women's movement; and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union.
In this monumental book, Mark Kurlansky brings to teeming life the cultural and political history of that pivotal year, when television's influence on global events first became apparent, and spontaneous uprisings occurred simultaneously around the world. Encompassing the diverse realms of youth and music, politics and war, economics and the media, 1968 shows how twelve volatile months transformed who we were as a peopleand led us to where we are today.
THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT
The things of the eye are done.
On the illuminated black dial,
green ciphers of a new moon-
One, two, three, four, five, six!
I breathe and cannot sleep.
Then morning comes,
saying, "This was night."
-Robert Lowell, "Myopia: a Night," from For the Union Dead, 1964
THE WEEK IT BEGAN
The year 1968 began the way any well-ordered year should - on a Monday morning. It was a leap year. February would have an extra day. The headline on the front page of The New York Times read,
world bids adieu to a violent year; city gets snowfall.
In Vietnam, 1968 had a quiet start. Pope Paul VI had declared January 1 a day of peace. For his day of peace, the Pope had persuaded the South Vietnamese and their American allies to give a twelve-hour extension to their twenty-four-hour truce. The People's Liberation Armed Forces in South Vietnam, a pro-North Vietnamese guerrilla force in the South popularly known as the...
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