1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change

1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
383   0
Write Review
1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
11+
Release Date
September 11, 2018
ISBN
978-0763689933
Buy This Book
      
Welcome to 1968 — a revolution in a book. Essays, memoirs, and more by fourteen award-winning authors offer unique perspectives on one of the world’s most tumultuous years.

Nineteen sixty-eight was a pivotal year that grew more intense with each day. As thousands of Vietnamese and Americans were killed in war, students across four continents took over colleges and city streets. Assassins murdered Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. Demonstrators turned out in Prague and Chicago, and in Mexico City, young people and Olympic athletes protested. In those intense months, generations battled and the world wobbled on the edge of some vast change that was exhilarating one day and terrifying the next. To capture that extraordinary year, editors Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti created an anthology that showcases many genres of nonfiction. Some contributors use a broad canvas, others take a close look at a moment, and matched essays examine the same experience from different points of view. As we face our own moments of crisis and division, 1968 reminds us that we’ve clashed before and found a way forward — and that looking back can help map a way ahead.

With contributions by:
Jennifer Anthony
Marc Aronson
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Loree Griffin Burns
Paul Fleischman
Omar Figueras
Laban Carrick Hill
Mark Kurlansky
Lenore Look
David Lubar
Kate MacMillan
Kekla Magoon
Jim Murphy
Elizabeth Partridge

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0  (1)
(Updated: July 10, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

In order for young people to make sense of the current sociopolitical landscape, it is not a bad idea for them to look back fifty years at the pivotal year of 1968. As volatile and contentious as today, but with the benefit of passing years helping to make sense of it all, 1968 is a great place for young readers to start with many topics in order to fully understand them. This is also a fantastic resource to use in conjunction with the perennial middle school favorite, Hinton's The Outsiders (1976), to gain insight into the events of that book.

Good Points
While I have a particular fondness for the accounts written by people who lived through 1968, there are also some very good essays by historians who had not yet been born, but who have dedicated their careers to understanding particular issues. The essay that I needed the most was Kekla Magoon's "The Death of the Dream"; I've been waiting for her purported book about the Blank Panther Movement, hoping to make sense of the trajectory of the Civil Rights Movement, but this essay did answer, with one of many possible answers, a question that has long bothered me. What happened to the movement that so flourished under Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership? The 1970s saw very few advances compared to the progress that was made in the 1960s, and seems to have lead us to the point where we are now. I had suspected that the death of King was instrumental, but Magoon's assertion that Robert Kennedy's death also took a lot of wind out of the sails makes so much sense. While this does not provide all of the answers, this essay is a timely one and should be examined for focal points for the newest incarnation of the Civil Rights movement.

The quality of the writing shows the fine hands of Aronson and Bartoletti as editors. The essays are all brilliantly written, with an excellent balance of historical facts and emotional recollections. Fleischman's "Biker's Ed" could be a rallying point for every disaffected teenager who has ever wanted to journey out alone to experience the world, but is also poignant in that teenagers no longer feel safe in undertaking cross country bike trips, even with all of our improved communication.

It's rare that I discuss every entry in a collection, but I really can't leave any of these out. Lenore Look's "The Red Guard" should be included in all future edition of Ying Chang Compestine's The Revolution is Not a Dinner Party (2007) and is informative in showing how much information we don't have about China's Cultural Revolution, and how devastating it is to historical understanding when people are not allowed or encouraged to share their experiences.

Partridge's historical narrative at the beginnings of the chapters intertwine current events with her own experiences at the time, and Kate McMillan's memoir of being a soixante-huitard in Paris give a lot of description of what it was like to be a young person at a time of political upheaval. Add to that Hill's "The Wrong Side of History", about his experiences living in a a family with strongly racist views at the time of Martin Luther King's death, and Jennifer Anthony's explanation of Mark Rudd's involvement in protesting a segregated gym at Colombia University, and today's readers can begin to understand how teens were instrumental and active in many of the events that they read about, letting them know that they do not need to be powerless bystanders.

Mark Kurlansky, who has done a stand alone book on this topic 1968: The Year That Rocked the World (2001) as well as a fiction book about a conscientious objector to Vietnam (Battle Fatigue, 2011), writes touchingly about the personal impact that Robert Kennedy had on his experiences. Bartoletti gives a detailed explanation of Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies that was tremendously informative and useful in understanding the counterculture. Jim Murphy writes about the contribution and tribulations of two other notable individuals, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who protested from the winners podium at the Olympics.

Kurlansky also writes about the Prague Spring, which I had never really investigated, and Omar Figueras covers another event not mentioned in any of my history classes, the Massacre at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Mexico City. Loree Griffin Burns adds a STEM offering to this list of topics not covered by most curricula in discussing the work that continued in the 1960s with DNA.

History is so often about events, politics, and wars, so two essays about cultural phenomena added greatly to the comprehensiveness of this volume. Marc Aronson's entry about Douglas Engelbart and his demonstration of computers in 1968 covered an issue that few readers, young or old, will have known about. Moments in history that offer a clear cut delineation between eras are hard to find, and Englebart's demonstration of a computer with a mouse, split screen, cursors, and hyperlinks is chilling to read. The fact that this was not hailed as a pivotal event at the time is not surprising, but makes the prophetic qualities of the event even more powerful. David Lubar's entry, "Running with Sharp Schticks" is by far the most interesting and engaging essay, but also the most disturbing in some ways. Humor is so very subjective, and changes so quickly, that the comedians he writes about are no long funny to us, but deeply offensive. The brilliant part of the internet to me is that with the magic of You Tube, we can see not only historical events, but all of the comedians that Lubar talks about as having an impact on the emotions of the day. Given the current climate, it is jaw-droppingly astonishing what words came out of the mouths of comedians like Pat Paulsen, even as a satirist, and Don Rickles.

These essays would be wonderful to read out loud to history classes, and to use to compare with current events. If there were ever a book that showed vividly the validity of George Santayana's assertion "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," it would definitely be the exquisite 1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change.
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Darkest Legacy
The long-awaited new novel in the New York Times best-selling...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nightbooks
A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Intoxic
When Alison Hayes walks into her storm-darkened trailer the afternoon...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Ranch Hero
Kid lit with a comic book twist! This is a...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
The Black and White Ball
In a lush and bountiful woodland, teeming with magnificent wildlife,...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Denis Ever After
Written by award-winning author Tony Abbott and perfect for...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
You May Now Kill the Bride
Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Hiding Lies
At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shadow Wings
I will never be controlled again. A manipulative dragon...
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Into Darkness
Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Spencer's life was not supposed to turn...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Kai's summer changes when she gets a summer internship at...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Zoe is just your average teenage girl expecting another average,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Frango & Chicken
Some things seem impossible, but with the right attitude and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Lane
Ruby is overexcited again, and her brain is spinning creative...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Girl Gone Ghost
A gripping psychological thriller. Inspired by a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Darkest Legacy
 
5.0
"It's been five years since the "rehabilitation" camps have been destroyed and now, everyone is working on rebuilding. Zu is..."
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
 
4.3
"Bonnie Parker is waiting for Clyde to be released from prison. It's 1931 and she wants him to come..."
Here to Stay
 
4.7
"Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while..."
Hiding Lies
 
5.0
"HIDING LIES is the second installment in the Eleanor Ames series. It begins with Ellie and Miles saying goodbye since..."
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)
 
5.0
"Apollo, now known as a human teenager named Lester, must restore five Oracles that have gone dark in order to..."
The Red Ribbon
 
5.0
"Fourteen-year-old Ella is striped down and treated as subhuman by the Nazis and tries to survive. When she hears of..."
Strange New World
 
4.3
"Dahlia 16 just found out her whole life is a lie and that she's not a clone after all...."
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
 
5.0
"After their disastrous climb in The Edge, Ethan, Alessia and Peak are looking for some adventure that is a bit..."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
 
5.0
" “Any mind that is capable of a real sorrow is capable of good.” To be..."
Brave New Girl
 
4.0
"All Dahlia 16 knows is that she's just one of five thousand identical girls that's sole purpose is to work..."
The Last Best Story
 
4.7
"'The Last Best Story' by Maggie Lehrman is provocative and intriguing, bringing a shadow of a doubt to the truth-finding..."
Picture Us in the Light
 
2.0
"I tried, but I just could not finish this book. I could only make it to chapter three. It is..."
Little White Lies
 
4.0
"LITTLE WHITE LIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a novel mashup of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars set in..."
Missing at 17
 
3.0
"When Candice, better known as Candy, discovers that she's adopted, she feels betrayed and angry. These negative emotions make her..."
Let Me List the Ways
 
4.3
"'Let Me List the Ways' by Sarah White is a breezy and engaging look at the relationship between two best..."
LIFEL1K3
 
4.3
"LifeL1k3 is an engaging novel full of incredible writing, violence, action, romance, and strong world-building. Told in third person, and..."
Playing Her Secret Crush
 
4.0
" "Playing Her Secret Crush" follows Katie and Alex as they enter their senior year of high school. Katie has..."
The Year of Living Awkwardly
 
4.7
"Chloe Snow is a high school sophomore who is struggling with the abandonment of her mother. She also is absorbed..."
Six of Crows
 
4.7
" A clever and dark YA fantasy—featuring a well-rounded cast paired to a heist plot that tugs at the mind..."
Three Dark Crowns
 
2.3
"Original Review: literarychaos.com Rating: 2.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book, unfortunately, I just..."