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The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changes America [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 25, 2001
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1893554309  
EAN  9781893554306  


Availability  2 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
In The Long March, Roger Kimball shows how the "cultural revolution" of the 1960s and '70s took hold in America, lodging in our hearts and minds, and in our innermost assumptions about what counts as the good life. Kimball believes that the counterculture transformed high culture as well as our everyday life in terms of attitudes toward self and country, sex and drugs, and manners and morality. Believing that this dramatic change "cannot be understood apart from the seductive personalities who articulated its goals," he intersperses his argument with incisive portraits of the life and thought of Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Timothy Leary, Susan Sontag, Eldridge Cleaver and other "cultural revolutionaries" who made their mark. For all that has been written about the counterculture, until now there has not been a chronicle of how this revolutionary movement succeeded and how its ideas helped provoke today's "culture wars." The Long March fills this gap with a compelling and well-informed narrative that is sure to provoke discussion and debate.

Publishers Description
In The Long March, Roger Kimball, the author of Tenured Radicals, shows how the "cultural revolution" of the 1960s and '70s took hold in America, lodging in our hearts and minds, and affecting our innermost assumptions about what counts as the good life. Kimball believes that the counterculture transformed high culture as well as our everyday life in terms of attitudes toward self and country, sex and drugs, and manners and morality. Believing that this dramatic change "cannot be understood apart from the seductive personalities who articulated its goals," he intersperses his argument with incisive portraits of the life and thought of Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Timothy Leary, Susan Sontag, Eldridge Cleaver and other "cultural revolutionaries" who made their mark. For all that has been written about the counterculture, until now there has not been a chronicle of how this revolutionary movement succeeded and how its ideas helped provoke today's "culture wars." The Long March fills this gap with a compelling and well-informed narrative that is sure to provoke discussion and debate.


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More About Roger Kimball

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kimball is managing editor of The New Criterion and a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, he has taught at Yale and Connecticut College

Roger Kimball currently resides in Norwalk, in the state of Connecticut. Roger Kimball was born in 1953.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century > 1960s   [172  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General   [15836  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General   [10703  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
cultural indigestion  Jul 7, 2007
Roger Kimball's acerbic wit and lively intellect make this book a pleasure to read. As Kimball notes, "The Sixties" is just an evocation; as a slice of history it actually encompassed nearly twenty years. "It began some time in the late 1950s and lasted at least until the mid-1970s."

It's instructive to note that the "cultural revolution" Kimball discusses coincides exactly with the period of the Vietnam War; 1959 to April 30, 1975. The cultural revolutionaries that Kimball describes were spawned by the Vietnam conflict. It was the longest war of U.S. history, over 50,000 American youth were killed, and the Army was filled with draftees; "conscripts paid to kill", as Joan Baez hauntingly lyricized. It was this combination, the war, the draft and the popular resistance to both, that provided the backdrop of the sixties principal motif, "rebellion against authority." This antipathy to authority merged with left wing ideology, which held that all of humanity should live together in a peaceful egalitarian utopia.

(Aside: Kimball commits a serious omission in that he never mentions musician and poet Bob Dylan once in his book. Dylan's lyrics, style and cultural dominance of the sixties cannot be overstated: "The Times They Are a-Changing" Also, although the Vietnam War is discussed in several places, I don't believe Kimball gives it the central place it deserves as a "permitting condition" for the cultural revolt of the sixties.)

Most of this book is spent exposing the intellectual vacuity of the revolutionaries. They were against the war but their leftist radicalism took some bizarre and twisted turns. Kimball describes the main and peripheral characters; the boorish egoist Norman Mailer, the narcissistic "intellectual poseur" Susan Sontag, the freakish sociopath Eldridge Cleaver, the fat, dumb and happy Allen Ginsberg, the drugged out Timothy Leary, the murderous Black Panthers and dozens more cultural icons who stood for nothing more than an attack on authority - all authority. (Note: epithets are mine, not Kimball's.)

The Chapter on Susan Sontag is worth the price of the book. In fact, it is priceless. Kimball takes the ideas of these cultural icons apart as easily as disassembling a cheap tinker toy set.

The most ominous theme to emerge from these hare-brained people who were going to save the world (along with saving the Viet Cong) was the antinomian view that their morality was "above the law." Yale Chaplin William Sloane Coffin Jr. and the two brothers, Priests Daniel and Philip Berrigan, became carried away with their own virtue and burned draft records and helped young Americans flee to Canada. They exempted themselves from the claims of democratically established authority to pursue the calling of a "higher authority."

Civil disobedience was born. I recall seeing tee-shirts on campus emblazoned "Question All Authority." Students came to class wearing ragged war surplus clothing. In one graduate class, "The Intellectual History of America" (at a California University I attended), one student always showed up dressed only in dirty Levi's; bare-foot and shirtless. Not long after this a number of students at Berkeley started attending classes totally naked. Apparently this was their expression of a higher morality. "If it feels good, do it."

How does all this sixties turmoil effect us today? The answer lies in the universities. The students who assimilated the religion of rebellion and anti-Americanism became the professors of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Many of these academics also became University administrators. This "intelligentsia" still controls the intellectual and moral discourse at the top of the cultural heap. (David Horowitz has documented this academic dominance of radical leftists in many of his books, articles, and on his website.) Perhaps, as historian Victor Davis Hanson has put it, this intelligentsia is like a large meal ingested by a boa constrictor. It has to slowly work its way through the intestines of the giant snake until it is finally digested. Maybe the academics and administrators have reached this point; maybe they have worked their way through the labyrinth of the universities and are about to be expelled from the other end.
 
Kimball at his best   Jan 20, 2007
I love all of Roger Kimbell's books so this may not be the most unbiased review that you will read here, however...

As usual, Kimball's well rounded education shines through in this book as he uses literary and cultural examples from the soon to be extinct Western Civilization (on campus anyway.) Of all of those who have contributed their thoughts to the culture wars, Kimball has to be one of the best. Never shrill, his criticisms in `The Long March..." of such icons of the New Left as Susan Sontag, the Beats, and of course Eldridge Cleaver are well informed and backed up with ample evidence and citations.

In chapter 4, `The Liberal Capitulation', the author describes what is perhaps one of the most disgusting phenomena of the 60s, namely, college administrators siding with radical students and making deals instead of calling the authorities to deal with campus takeovers the way they should have been dealt with. I have to agree with Kimball that this was a turning point for the bad for higher education in this country - one from which we are still reeling to this day.

This is a great read for anyone interested in the culture wars and as usual, Kimball cites from enough texts to start a whole new reading list on the topic. I would not expect "progressives" out there to pick up this volume but for any open minded reader interested in the impact of 60s radicalism, this will a great addition to your library.
 
A necessary drop of Holy Water  Nov 23, 2006
"The Long March" is a very good start for anyone who wants to understand the degradation of our culture on multiple levels. The following quotes from Arthur Herman's "Joseph McCarthy (Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator)" explain the writhing & gnashing of teeth demonstrated by some reviewers:

"In fact, few conservatives saw anything new or unprecedented in McCarthy's efforts or in the hostile reaction it provoked...in the thirties, any author who attacked communism could count on a similar smear treatment..."

"...the struggle over McCarthy was part of a much longer struggle: the survival of a traditional conservatism in the face of a dominant liberal orthodoxy that seemed to find more to admire in Stalin's Russia than in it's own country's traditions."

"Two generations of American liberalism, wrote one conservative critic (of the 1950's) have called honorable men 'merchants of death' and Stalin a protagonist of human liberation; and for either misjudgment they had far less evidence than McCarthy did for his."

Yes, it's time for a deluge of Holy Water...
It's the Left, the 1960's radicals & their spawn, the red diaper babies that attempt to stifle debate...usually with labels of anti-this, anti-that, nativist, homophobe, xenophobe etc.
 
How?  Jul 27, 2006
The title of this book is: How the Cultural Revolution of the Sixties Changed America. Table of Contents:

What is a Cultural Revolution?
A Gospel of Emancipation
Norman Mailer's American Dream
Susan Sontag & the New Sensibility
The Liberal Capitulation
The Politics of Delegitimation
The Marriage of Marx & Frued
The Greening of America
The Project of Rejuvenilization
Eldridge Cleaver's Serial Extremism
A Nostalgia for Molotovs
What the Sixties Wrought

Kimball emphasizes the importance of colleges admitting unqualified persons, especially at a time when violent takeovers, protests and hostage-taking had become fashionable on campuses. The faith was that education could transform people. But people resent charity by whatever name it is called, and people resent having to compete with other people who are better qualified than they are. Violent protests were an easy and predictable way out. So was the demand for separate academic programs, separate grading systems, and ultimately a substitution of different content in all courses (thus eliminating the need to compete). This started as early as 1969 at Cornell. And as more and more minorities and other "victim" groups were given a free ride into the universities, more of them demanded separate academic programs, separate standards of grading, separate rules of conduct. And whatever they demanded, of course, they got. And as these special subjects became fashionable in the 1970s, the majority (white) students demanded that their courses reflect these trendy topics.

Kimball quotes Nathan Glazer who says we "can only admire the public-relations skill exhibited in the choice of a name" for their various actions (p. 106). That skill has since become a fine art, as reverse discrimination/charity has been christened "affirmative action", revolution has been re-christened "transformation", rejection of and denigration of Western culture has been dubbed "multiculturalism" and more recently "diversity".

Again, the title of this book is: How the Cultural Revolution of the Sixties Changed America. This book does describe a number of changes in America since the 1960s, but does not say HOW these changes were accomplished (undoubtedly because Kimball was not there).

For a more thorough and accurate account from an independent point of view, read the new While America Sleeps: How Islam, Immigration and Indoctrination Are Destroying America From Within. In spite of the provocative title, this is a thoroughly researched, carefully reasoned book which nonetheless does not shrink from carrying the evidence to its logical conclusions.
 
Disappointing; the book stops short of its promise  May 31, 2006
While I agree that the 60s epitomize 12-18 years of self-indulgence, excess, moral decay, and rationalization, I found this book failed substantially to go from a cataloguing of horribles to a clear analysis of precisely how pervasively the perpetuation and idolization of these misguided ideals continue to undermine society.

The book promises just such an examination in its subtitle: "How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America," but falls far short of delivering on that promise.

Mr. Kimball's abrasive (though, IMHO, accurate) portayals of the icons of the revolution should be only one part of the book, but he fails to take it the rest of the way and go beyond his earlier essays assailing each of these malcontents.

A tough read, and definately not worth it.
 

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