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by Mark Kurlansky

1968 by Mark Kurlansky X
1968 by Mark Kurlansky
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2003, 441 pages

    Jan 2005, 464 pages


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Power Reviewer
Cathryn Conroy

I was in eighth grade when 1968 dawned, too immature and self-centered to fully appreciate the truly momentous, spirit-shattering and world-changing events—the effect of which is still felt 50 years later. And that is why I read this outstanding book by Mark Kurlansky. This is not an easy read; it is a history book, after all, and will demand your full attention. But it is so worth the effort and time because it offers perspective.

From Moscow to Mexico, Berkeley to Biafra and Prague to Poland, the year was remarkable because of multiple and varied cries for revolution—everywhere. Students protested in almost every first-world country, and in some cases lost their lives for their efforts. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Richard Nixon was elected president. Russia invaded Czechoslovakia. More military members died in Vietnam in 1968 than any other year of that war. Chicago police went berserk at the Democratic National Convention, beating innocent citizens. Mexico massacred protesting students weeks before hosting the summer Olympics with the theme of brotherly love and friendship. It was a summer of Black Power and boycotts, burning draft cards and burning bras. And television changed it all, bringing these perilous events far and wide into the privacy of our living rooms.

This prodigiously researched history book recounts all the year's events, focusing especially on the citizen protests. It was these activities that more than anything else made people realize they were not powerless and—even more important—could not be ignored by the powerful.

"Remember 1968" should be a rallying cry for everyone who feels repressed in any day and age, and this book is the how-to instruction manual.
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