Re: Future of '60s courses? (multiple posts)
Sun, 16 Nov 1997 11:27:31 -0500

From: James Farrell (

This last summer, I taught an Elderhostel on the Sixties, and found my
students (mostly in their 60s and 70s) remarkably receptive to thinking
through the Sixties. I used many of the themes of my book, *The Spirit of
the Sixties,* which emphasizes religious and civic republican sources of
the "political personalism" of the decade, so they could see that
protesters were not un-American, but paying attention to important strands
of American thought and culture. By the time we talked about drugs, they
could understand the larger contexts for the counterculture.

People interested in excerpts from the book can find them at

Jim Farrell

Professor of History
Director of American Studies
St. Olaf College


Dear June Cook,
I read your post with interest. My own experience is more mixed. (I don't
teach but) my 30-year-old and his friends seem reasonably aware of some of
the politics, anyway, of the Movement/sixties, and my 19-year-old has, not
only from my "reminiscences", something like rudimentary knowledge of this,
well beyond the drugs-and-rock view in any case. My feeling is the
historical ignorance of his group, and of most the public school teenagers,
is hardly restricted to the Sixties. We lost, after all, at least for now,
and part of keeping a population in tight control is keeping it ignorant.
One of the many arenas where we/our children/grandchildren have to fight....
Paula Friedman