Re: [sixties-l] Glad The L's Back

From: William Mandel (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 20:29:16 CUT

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    We oldies are ubiquitous. Having been United Press (now UPI)
    Expert on Russia during World War II, an invited fellow at the
    Hoover Institution, Stanford, 1947, public lecturer under the
    management that had Eleanor Roosevelt when she left public
    service, and author of one of the first two volumes ever used as
    texts about the Soviet Union in American higher education, I was
    totally deprived of access to the public during the McCarthy
    years -- except for the York Gazette and Daily! In 1956, after
    the Soviet invasion of Hungary, it carried an article of mine. I
    quote it as excerpted in my autobiography, SAYING NO TO POWER, P.
        "England, France, and Israel had invaded Egypt in an attempt
    to seize the Suez Canal at the very time the Soviets invaded
    Hungary. In an article for the York Gazette and Daily I wrote:
         "'The Anglo-French and Israeli actions in Egypt give part of
    the answer [to the question of why the Asian countries abstained
    from criticizing the Soviet action]. None of the
    newly-independent states has lost, for a minute, its fear that
    the old empires would try to turn back the clock....But shouldn't
    Russia be feared, particularly after the suppression in
    Hungary?....There is not one Russian unit outside her frontiers
    in all of Asia....The Russians have been building steel mills for
    Asia, buying rice and cotton surpluses, and sending technical
    help....We send track stars to impress the Indians. The Russians
    didn't believe it beneath their dignity to send the two most
    important men in their country, Khrushchev and Bulganin.
        "'We laughed at the funny fat Russians in Indian costume
    clumsily imitating Indian gestures of courtesy. The Indians felt
    they were being treated as equals, and turned out in
    demonstrations bigger than [Mahatma] Gandhi, [Premier] Nehru, or
    their own independence day had ever been given....From Asia,
    Hungary is a pimple on the far side of Russia....And if [Moscow]
    wants to keep her troops flung out in that direction [westward]
    when the European powers have again shown their perfidy, Asia can
    only gain if Russia thus compels them to keep forces on guard in
    Europe. So goes the reasoning'."
                                            William Mandel

    Peter Levy wrote:
    > I guess I'll weigh in on this discussion of generations and perioization
    > at this point. Jezel's point about re-examining the 1950s suggests that
    > the notion that the baby boom generation produced the rebellion of the
    > sixties has been greatly exaggerated. The Beats were not just omens of
    > things to come, they contributed greatly to the expansion of
    > freedom--freedom of the press, speech, etc.--that was one of the goals of
    > the early New Left. Let's not forget that Ginsburg, Burrows and others
    > were involved in critical censorship cases. Lisewise the peace movement
    > pre-existed the anti-Vietnam war movement, includluding groups like the
    > War Ressiters League, Women's Strike for Peace, CNVA, and SANE, all of
    > which were included many no-baby boomers as members. The civil rights
    > movement was cross-generational as well. For instance, when SNCC arrived
    > in Mississippi they linked up with an older generation of activists, such
    > as Amzie Moore and Medgar Evers, and mobilized both the young and the old,
    > from Hollis Watkins to Fannie Lou Hamer. My own study of Cambridge, Md
    > finds that while the young were often the first to protest, the movement
    > can not be understood very well in generational terms. Moreover, we need
    > to remember that it was not just the YAF that attracted conservative baby
    > boomers. In Mississippi, for example, white youths allied with their
    > parents in opposition to the desegregation of Ole Miss--Trent Lott for
    > example was the head cheerleader at Ole Miss when Ross Barnett rallied
    > students against integration. Later in the decade, white youths from
    > South Boston protested against busing. In terms of the war, we need to
    > remember that thousands of American baby boomers volunteered to fight in
    > Vietnam and it wasn't simply because they were born before or after WWII.
    > I suggest that we consider the impact that class, location and even
    > religious affilation had on those who came of age in the sixties. WE also
    > need to see that a master national narrative doesn't work that well. The
    > situation in Berkeley was different than it was in Austin and it was even
    > more different in non-college towns. Glad to see the list back. By the
    > way, I'm looking for information on white and /or black students who went
    > to Cambridge, MD, particularly in the early and mid-1960s. Many students
    > from Swarthmore, including Carl Whitman went, as did members of Brooklyn
    > CORE. Please repsond directly to me if you can help me in this matter.
    > YOurs, Peter B. Levy, Dept. of History, York College, York, PA 17405
    > On Tue, 6 Jun 2000, Marty Jezer wrote:
    > > At 06:34 AM 6/6/2000 -0400, you wrote:
    > > > Anyway, I remember the later 50's as being an
    > > >extremely exciting and hopeful period. We felt change in the air.
    > > >Gretchen Dutschke
    > >
    > > Speaking of the complexity of generations, we need a fresh look at the
    > > fifties. The conformist, organization man, suburban buttoned-down repress
    > > fifties was the mainstream reality, but there was so much going on beneath
    > > the surface. As Abbie Hoffman once said, "there wouldn't have been the
    > > sixties, if not for the fifties." Or something like that.
    > >
    > > Bebop and hard bop, the first folk revival (a breakthrough for what the
    > > Almanacs/Weavers were trying to do), the beats and abstract expressionists,
    > > the sick comics (Lenny Bruce,
    > > Mort Sahl, etc.) iconoclasts like radio's Jean Shepherd, the Village Voice,
    > > doo wop (and white kids getting seriously into black music), not to mention
    > > in politics the ban the bombers
    > > (Committee for Nonviolent Action and SANE), the NYC air raid protests
    > > (Catholic Workers and WRL). The consensus that dominated the corporate
    > > fifties began to fracture in the mid-fifties and it was from the
    > > underground ferment that the new left and the counter-culture was born.
    > > The civil rights movement had it's own antecedents but the fact that so
    > > many young whites were ready to embrace the cause stems from the ferment of
    > > the fifties.
    > >
    > > Just wingin' it,
    > >
    > > Marty Jezer
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > Marty Jezer * 22 Prospect St. * Brattleboro, VT 05301 * p/f 802 257-5644
    > >
    > > Author:
    > > Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words (Basic Books)
    > > Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel (Rutgers University Press)
    > > The Dark Ages: Life in the USA, 1945-1960 (South End Press)
    > > Rachel Carson [American Women of Achievement Series] (Chelsea House)
    > > Check out my web page:
    > > To subscribe to my Friday commentary, simply request to be put on my
    > > mailing list. It's free!
    > >

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