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The Portable Sixties Reader written by Ann Charters


The Portable Sixties Reader written by Ann Charters


From civil rights to free love, JFK to LSD, Woodstock to the Moonwalk, the Sixties was a time of change, political unrest, and radical experiments in the arts, sexuality, and personal identity. In this anthology of more than one hundred selections of essays, poetry, and fiction by some of America’s most gifted writers, Ann Charters sketches the unfolding of this most turbulent decade.

The Portable Sixties Reader is organized into thematic chapters, from the Civil Rights movement to the Anti-Vietnam movement, the Free Speech movement, the Counterculture movement, drugs and the movement into Inner Space, the Beats and other fringe literary movements, the Black Arts movement, the Women’s movement, and the Environmental movement. The concluding chapter, “Elegies for the Sixties,” offers tributes to ten figures whose lives—and deaths—captured the spirit of the decade.

Contributors include:

Edward Abbey, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Richard Brautigan, Lenny Bruce, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Jim Carroll, Rachel Carson, Carlos Castenada, Bob Dylan, Betty Friedan, Nikki Giovanni, Michael Herr, Abbie Hoffman, Robert Hunter, Ken Kesey, Martin Luther King, Jr., Timothy Leary, Denise Levertov, Norman Mailer, Malcolm X, Country Joe McDonald, Kate Millet, Tim O’Brien, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Gloria Steinem, Hunter S. Thompson, Calvin Trillin, Alice Walker, Eudora Welty and more.


Compiled by a lifelong scholar of the Beat generation, this anthology contains excerpts from essays, speeches, poetry, and fiction representative of the American counterculture of the 1960s. Included are the words of Allen Ginsberg on conducting a demonstration, Gloria Steinem on unlearning sexism, and Malcolm X on fighting for voting rights. The volume concludes with a selection of ten elegies, including Archibald MacLeish's "Hemingway" and a poem for Janis Joplin by Marilyn Hacker. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Seattle Times

Absorbing...a collection to be read...seething with emotion and urgency...

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