Re: [sixties-l] "Generation" as the wrong focus

From: John Andrew (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 12:17:58 CUT

  • Next message: Marty Jezer: "Re: [sixties-l] "Generation" as the wrong focus"

    Ted Morgan wrote an interesting piece about "generations" and the sixties -
    snipped to save bandwith- but a reply:

            An interesting idea that you advance. Perhaps the real "generation"
    is the generation of young people that came of age AFTER WWII - although I
    don't know if there is some other magic date. I say this because most of
    the early instigators (positive term) in SDS, SNCC, etc. were not really
    baby boomers by the definition of the term - they were born from the late
    1930s through the mid-1940s. But they came of age in the 1950s. I'd argue
    that their disillusionment, because of the contradiction between US ideals
    and reality, was sharper than that of most boomers because of their
    proximity to the Depression and WWII. By the time the leading edge of the
    boomers came of age (18 in 1964) many of the sixties movements were
    underway. More important, perhaps, there was a strong critique of the
    1950s/conformity/McCarthyism/etc. available--the Beats, folksongs, civil
    rights discussions. The post-WWII world had already been transformed, with
    the Soviet bomb, the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions, Sputnik. Even
    mainstream intellectuals were critical of the US and urged that we do more.
    Of course, they did not mean what they ended up getting, but that's another

    John Andrew email: J_ANDREW@ACAD.FANDM.EDU
    Department of History fax 717-399-4518
    Franklin and Marshall College
    Lancaster, PA. 17604-3003

    "Fantasy Will Set You Free" - Steppenwolf

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