A Revolution That Gave Liberalism a Bad Name
The Manchester Guardian Weekly
January 13, 2000
The article is a review of "America Divided, The Civil War of the 1960s", by Hamilton professor of history, Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin. The short history of "Louie, Louie," one of the many telling anecdotes in this lively survey of the 1960s, is a metaphor for the authors' larger point. The decade, like the song, was not quite as subversive as it appears in popular memory. The '60s are generally recalled (and demonized) as an era when the country lurched to the left... If anything, Isserman and Kazin argue, the '60s saw the rise of the Right - attacks on the welfare state, a boom in fundamentalist religion, and a sharp political backlash... America Divided's knowing and highly readable narrative is full of such pointed injections of reality.