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And the Crooked Places Made Straight

, 232 pages
November 2012



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And the Crooked Places Made Straight

The Struggle for Social Change in the 1960s

second edition, updated

David Chalmers's widely acclaimed overview of the 1960s describes how the civil rights movement touched off a growing challenge to traditional values and arrangements. Chalmers recounts the judicial revolution that set national standards for race, politics, policing, and privacy. He examines the long, losing war on poverty and the struggle between the media and the government over the war in Vietnam. He follows feminism's "second wave" and the emergence of the environmental, consumer, and citizen action movements. He also explores the worlds of rock, sex, and drugs, and the entwining of the youth culture, the counterculture, and the American marketplace.

This newly revised edition covers the conservative counter-revolution and cultural wars. It carries the legacy of the 1960s forward: from Tom Hayden’s idealistic 1962 Port Huron Statement through Newt Gingrich’s 1994 "Contract with America" and Grover Norquist’s twenty-first century "Tax Payer’s Protection Pledge."

During the 1960s, David Chalmers was Fulbright Professor at the Universities of Sri Lanka, Tokyo, and the Philippines and lectured in Vietnam and Korea. He went to jail in St. Augustine with Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote a history of the Ku Klux Klan entitled Hooded Americanism, and worked for President Johnson's U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. He is Distinguished Service Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Florida.

"With its hint of passion and irony, the title of David Chalmers's book aptly captures the complexities of his study. Beautifully written, it is more than a recitation of the actors and events of the 1960s. It helps us to make sense of the decade."

"Marvelously comprehensive and superbly written. An exceptionally valuable overview of the 1960s, replete with astute interpretations and commentary."