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1959: The Year Everything Changed

por Fred M. Kaplan

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211499,068 (3.75)16
Conventional historical wisdom focuses on the sixties as the era of pivotal change that swept the nation, yet, as Fred Kaplan argues, it was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific shifts that would play out in the turbulent decade that followed. During this vital, overlooked period in American history, pop culture exploded, court rulings unshackled prevously banned books, civil rights laws and protests broadened political power, the birth control pill ushered in the sexual and feminist revolutions, America entered the war in Vietnam, the invention of the microchip launched the computer age, and the space race put a new twist on the frontier myth.… (mais)
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Mostrando 4 de 4
Excerpts from my original GR review (Sep 2010):
- This was a pleasant find. Saw it in the return stacks at my library,...Took it home and immediately was hooked.
- I was a bit skeptical of the title, as we seem to be saturated with "time capsule" books these days (1968:..by Mark Kurlansky being one). My Kaplan did a fine job here. The 25 chapters focus on a seminal development or innovation which either occurred or became transcendent during 1959. A good example is Chapter 3, "The Philosophy of Hip" which delves into the rebellious literary life of Norman Mailer, using his 1959 release of his transformative book Advertisement For Myself as the start and endpoints of the chapter. Another good snapshot is Chapter 11, "The Assault on the Chord", which pivots on Miles Davis's recording of Kind of Blue to discuss the roots of the "cool jazz" movement in the early 50s. This chapter is a nice, capsule profile of jazz innovators of the time, including Coltrane, Bill Evans, and George Russell, among others.
- This book ably chronicles "The Year Everything Changed", as the subtitle tells us. From sexual politics to civil rights, from the space race to spaced-out experimentation, from jazz to nuclear annihilation, from literature to the "sickniks", a very enjoyable read. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Aug 20, 2018 |
Everything a popular cultural history should be. ( )
  PatrickMurtha | Feb 12, 2016 |
This is a very competent, lively book. And the way it fits into my life means I give it a 4 rather than perhaps a 3. I was in the 6th-7th grade in 1959. I remember some of the events of the book. Most I don't. But my life was shaped by these events. The beginnings of so much that we think of in the 60s and 70s. I recommend this book. (Listened on Audible.) ( )
  idiotgirl | Dec 25, 2015 |
Interesting Information, but I think I'd use it for a reference book rather than a book to curl up and read. It brought back a lot of memories though. Well written and appears to be well researched as well. ( )
  shieldwolf | Jul 23, 2009 |
Mostrando 4 de 4
What becomes increasingly clear with every chapter, however, is that nearly any one of that decade’s other years could serve equally well, if not better, as a turning point. History rarely adheres to the Gregorian calendar, and the need to squish everything into the self-imposed 365-day timeline causes Mr. Kaplan at times to treat his argument like a gerrymandered district, stretching it beyond its natural shape.
adicionada por Shortride | editarThe New York Times, Patricia Cohen (Aug 18, 2009)
 

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Kaplan, Fred M.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Barrett, JoeNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Conventional historical wisdom focuses on the sixties as the era of pivotal change that swept the nation, yet, as Fred Kaplan argues, it was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific shifts that would play out in the turbulent decade that followed. During this vital, overlooked period in American history, pop culture exploded, court rulings unshackled prevously banned books, civil rights laws and protests broadened political power, the birth control pill ushered in the sexual and feminist revolutions, America entered the war in Vietnam, the invention of the microchip launched the computer age, and the space race put a new twist on the frontier myth.

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