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The Long '68: Radical Protest and Its Enemies

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1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications; terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications; terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968. Bill Clinton and even Tony Blair are, in many ways, the product of that year. The Long '68 is a striking and original attempt half a century on to show how these events - from anti-war marches in the United States to revolts against Soviet oppression in eastern Europe - which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies that are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. The book pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968, and the brutal reactions from those in power that brought the era to an end.


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1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications; terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications; terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968. Bill Clinton and even Tony Blair are, in many ways, the product of that year. The Long '68 is a striking and original attempt half a century on to show how these events - from anti-war marches in the United States to revolts against Soviet oppression in eastern Europe - which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies that are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. The book pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968, and the brutal reactions from those in power that brought the era to an end.

30 review for The Long '68: Radical Protest and Its Enemies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kieran

    Really insightful analysis into the protests that rocked the Western democracies in the late 60s and early 70s. The causes, events, and long term consequences are all assessed, and all far more complicated and tangled than you’d imagine.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Coates

    The book covers the significant and tumultuous protest events of 1968 from the perspective that these were a culmination of a groundswell of protest in the decade leading up to this year and with reverberations in the years that followed. As a detailed report of the protest movements as they manifested in the USA, UK, West Germany, France and Italy and morphed during the 1970s, the reporting is thorough and comprehensive although there was little mention of Canada and none of Australia. However, The book covers the significant and tumultuous protest events of 1968 from the perspective that these were a culmination of a groundswell of protest in the decade leading up to this year and with reverberations in the years that followed. As a detailed report of the protest movements as they manifested in the USA, UK, West Germany, France and Italy and morphed during the 1970s, the reporting is thorough and comprehensive although there was little mention of Canada and none of Australia. However, when it comes to analysis, the book was seriously lacking. Some insight into the period can be found in Charles Reich’s 1970 book ʺThe Greening of Americaʺ in which he described Consciousness I, that of traditional businessmen and farmers trying to get ahead, Consciousness II thinking that established Roosevelt’s New Deal and trying to make the "great society" and Consciousness III, that of the student movement of the time which embraced youth culture and a disinclination to join the power structures. Indeed, neither this work nor Theodore Roszak’s 1969 ʺThe Making of a Counter Cultureʺ appeared in the extensive list of references. Perhaps greater insight to the period is provided by Christopher Caldwell’s essay “1968: A Revolting Generation Looks Back” in which he described the separation of the youth movement representing a lifestyle or Woodstock wing of the political left, which claimed grievances against and alienation from society by such groups as women, gays and students and which had split from the traditional or socialist left, drawing a parallel with the cartoon Road Runner whose sawn-off branch remains while the tree crumbles with the pre-eminence of the political left at the expense of the traditional left. Nonetheless, for those of a certain age who were aware of what was happening at the time but too young to participate or even for those part of the protest movement, this is potentially an informative read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alan Shaw

    This book covers a lot of territory and time, not just 1968, but the far extended rippling from that year that is still surely going on. Whilst there is a lot of valuable and interesting material presented throughout the book I found the style of presentation frustrating and hard-going and I was frequently annoyed by the constant dropping of seemingly random anecdotes to make a point that often seemed to leave me thinking "so what?" Nonetheless it was worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adam Becket

    Really good read, for someone who knew little to nothing about radical politics in the 1960s. Less of a narrative structure, more of a sweep through factors and countries. A good start for someone looking to get into the topic!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I confess that I only picked it up and started to read it, but I was disappointed to see that out of over 300 pages, only 40 pages of it were devoted to the U.S. events in 1968 -- and the Vietnam Conflict and its protest here was covered in only FIVE pages!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    An overview of a year that almost saw a world wide revolution, it covers not only the year itself but the aftermath.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rueda

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  9. 5 out of 5

    xhxhx

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mr Stephen J. Thomas

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Kroon

  12. 5 out of 5

    MR HUGH C M McALOON

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter De Cauwer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  15. 5 out of 5

    James

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Mullen

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Caden

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bas Hellings

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bri

  21. 5 out of 5

    Balázs

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Elias

  23. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Klaas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anja

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lukejeffery95

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Hilton

  28. 5 out of 5

    Apostolos Sfetsas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    909.826 V782a 2018

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Coke

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