events in history

803 Words4 Pages
The year 1968 can be recognized by the mass-youth appeal in late twentieth-century political and intellectual culture. It's most frequently remembered for the assassination of Martin Luther King, the May uprisings by students and workers in France, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the riots in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention, the massacre of government protesters in Mexico City during the weeks leading up to the Olympics, and the election of Richard Nixon--to name just a few of the more infamous events. It was a year marked by the beginning of America's decline as the single dominant economic power to emerge at the end of World War II. Many social changes that were addressed in the 1960s are still the issues being confronted today. The ‘60s was a decade of social and political upheaval. In spite of all the turmoil, there were some positive results: the civil rights revolution, John F. Kennedy’s bold vision of a new frontier, and the breathtaking advances in space helped bring about progress and prosperity. However, much was negative: student and anti-war protest movements, political assassinations, and ghetto riots excited American people and resulted in lack of respect for authority and the law. Edward Sanders' book-long poem entitled 1968: A History in Verse depicts all areas of the year 1968 from January 1st through the end of December. Sanders avoids depicting the year 1968 as either the last great hope for historical redemption in America or as the beginning of a reactionary turn in the culture. The book recaps the year in which he played an important socio-cultural activist, role model, musician, and poet. The poem continues to cite specific details centered mostly on where his rock band, the fugs, traveled to and whom and what he encountered along the way. “To me this was the last mote of proof in 1968 that the Nation was lost” (189). After witnessing the riots in Chicago, the "Nation" Sander’s referred to is an imaginary society in which community responsibility is shared equally between both government and citizens, and economic resources are distributed more rightfully among its members, when it is actually an existing set of political formations run by the government. The book continues to address 1968 as a rebellious era of the youth of America. The Yippies, or members of the anti-political association The Youth International Party, were active across America voicing their opinion and opposing the war.
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