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Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul
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The electrifying story of the turbulent year when the sixties ended and America teetered on the edge of revolutionNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCHAs the 1960s drew to a close, the United States was coming apart at the seams. From August 1969 to August 1970, the nation witnessed nine thousand protests and eighty-four acts of arson or bombings at schools across the country. It was the year of the My Lai massacre investigation, the Cambodia invasion, Woodstock, and the Moratorium to End the War. The American death toll in Vietnam was approaching fifty thousand, and the ascendant counterculture was challenging nearly every aspect of American society. Witness to the Revolution, Clara Bingham’s unique oral history of that tumultuous time, unveils anew that moment when America careened to the brink of a civil war at home, as it fought a long, futile war abroad. Woven together from one hundred original interviews, Witness to the Revolution provides a firsthand narrative of that period of upheaval in the words of those closest to the action—the activists, organizers, radicals, and resisters who manned the barricades of what Students for a Democratic Society leader Tom Hayden called “the Great Refusal.” We meet Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground; Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department employee who released the Pentagon Papers; feminist theorist Robin Morgan; actor and activist Jane Fonda; and many others whose powerful personal stories capture the essence of an era. We witness how the killing of four students at Kent State turned a straitlaced social worker into a hippie, how the civil rights movement gave birth to the women’s movement, and how opposition to the war in Vietnam turned college students into prisoners, veterans into peace marchers, and intellectuals into bombers. With lessons that can be applied to our time, Witness to the Revolution is more than just a record of the death throes of the Age of Aquarius. Today, when America is once again enmeshed in racial turmoil, extended wars overseas, and distrust of the government, the insights contained in this book are more relevant than ever.Praise for Witness to the Revolution“Especially for younger generations who didn’t live through it, Witness to the Revolution is a valuable and entertaining primer on a moment in American history the likes of which we may never see again.”—Bryan Burrough, The Wall Street Journal“A rich tapestry of a volatile period in American history.”Time“A gripping oral history of the centrifugal social forces tearing America apart at the end of the ’60s . . . This is rousing reportage from the front lines of US history.”O: The Oprah Magazine“The familiar voices and the unfamiliar ones are woven together with documents to make this a surprisingly powerful and moving book.”New York Times Book Review“[An] Enthralling and brilliant chronology of the period between August 1969 and September 1970.”Buffalo News“[Bingham] captures the essence of these fourteen months through the words of movement organizers, vets, students, draft resisters, journalists, musicians, government agents, writers, and others. . . . This oral history will enable readers to see that era in a new light and with fresh sympathy for the motivations of those involved. While Bingham’s is one of many retrospective looks at that period, it is...
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Street Date:
05/31/2016
Language:
English
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9780679644743
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B013NIBCV6
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APA Citation (style guide)

Clara Bingham. (2016). Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Clara Bingham. 2016. Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Clara Bingham, Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Clara Bingham. Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul. Random House Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Clara Bingham is the author of Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law (with Laura Leedy Gansler) and Women on the Hill: Challenging the Culture of Congress. She is a former Newsweek White House correspondent, and her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Talk, The Washington Monthly, Ms., and other publications. Bingham produced the 2011 documentary The Last Mountain. She lives in Manhattan and Brooklyn with her husband, three children, and three stepchildren.
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title
Witness to the Revolution
fullDescription
The electrifying story of the turbulent year when the sixties ended and America teetered on the edge of revolution
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
As the 1960s drew to a close, the United States was coming apart at the seams. From August 1969 to August 1970, the nation witnessed nine thousand protests and eighty-four acts of arson or bombings at schools across the country. It was the year of the My Lai massacre investigation, the Cambodia invasion, Woodstock, and the Moratorium to End the War. The American death toll in Vietnam was approaching fifty thousand, and the ascendant counterculture was challenging nearly every aspect of American society. Witness to the Revolution, Clara Bingham’s unique oral history of that tumultuous time, unveils anew that moment when America careened to the brink of a civil war at home, as it fought a long, futile war abroad.
Woven together from one hundred original interviews, Witness to the Revolution provides a firsthand narrative of that period of upheaval in the words of those closest to the action—the activists, organizers, radicals, and resisters who manned the barricades of what Students for a Democratic Society leader Tom Hayden called “the Great Refusal.”
We meet Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground; Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department employee who released the Pentagon Papers; feminist theorist Robin Morgan; actor and activist Jane Fonda; and many others whose powerful personal stories capture the essence of an era. We witness how the killing of four students at Kent State turned a straitlaced social worker into a hippie, how the civil rights movement gave birth to the women’s movement, and how opposition to the war in Vietnam turned college students into prisoners, veterans into peace marchers, and intellectuals into bombers.
With lessons that can be applied to our time, Witness to the Revolution is more than just a record of the death throes of the Age of Aquarius. Today, when America is once again enmeshed in racial turmoil, extended wars overseas, and distrust of the government, the insights contained in this book are more relevant than ever.
Praise for Witness to the Revolution
“Especially for younger generations who didn’t live through it, Witness to the Revolution is a valuable and entertaining primer on a moment in American history the likes of which we may never see again.”—Bryan Burrough, The Wall Street Journal
“A rich tapestry of a volatile period in American history.”Time
“A gripping oral history of the centrifugal social forces tearing America apart at the end of the ’60s . . . This is rousing reportage from the front lines of US history.”O: The Oprah Magazine
“The familiar voices and the unfamiliar ones are woven together with documents to make this a surprisingly powerful and moving book.”New York Times Book Review
“[An] Enthralling and brilliant chronology of the period between August 1969 and September 1970.”Buffalo News
“[Bingham] captures the essence of these fourteen months through the words of movement organizers, vets, students, draft resisters, journalists, musicians, government agents, writers, and others. . . . This oral history will enable readers to see that era in a new light and with fresh sympathy for the motivations of those involved. While Bingham’s is one of many retrospective looks at that period, it is...
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 11, 2016
        In this oral history of the American counterculture from August 1969 to September 1970, Bingham (Women on the Hill) assembles an impressive who's who of the activists, outlaws, and idealists who sought to bring America to its reckoning, for better or worse. Perhaps the most astonishing part of Bingham's account is the sheer number of memorable events that occurred in this "school year": Woodstock, Kent State, Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, the Weather Underground's campaign of bombings, Seymour Hersh breaking the My Lai massacre story, Robin Morgan publishing her feminist essay "Goodbye to All That," and Fred Hampton and Mark Clark being murdered by the Chicago police. Vietnam vets were coming out against the war and youths were opening their minds with LSD. It would be a mistake, however, to assume Bingham's book is an uncomplicated celebration of the "awakened generation." Many of the reminiscences end in regret; ironically, just as the New Left's antiwar message was beginning to hit home with the American public, the movement itself was self-destructing. By the end of Bingham's history it becomes clear that time has done little to cast these crucial events in any clarifying light. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2016
        An engrossing oral history of the youth rebellion of the 1960s. Former Newsweek White House correspondent Bingham (Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law, 2002, etc.) interviewed some 100 activists, veterans, government officials, and others--all now in their 60s and 70s--to produce this remarkable account of the anti-war movement. "The cross-pollination of left-wing activists with hippie drifters and dropouts, who were all part of the same Great Refusal to conform, created a brand new rebel," she writes. With a focus on the year 1969-1970--the "crescendo of the sixties, when years of civil disobedience and mass resistance erupted into anarchic violence"--Bingham captures telling moments (from campus protests to bombings, from Woodstock to My Lai) in the voices of those present. There are revealing stories about Weathermen on the lam, government sabotage and surveillance, courtroom theatrics, police riots, President Richard Nixon's late-night meeting with protesters at the Lincoln Memorial, the Pentagon Papers, and the incessant organizing behind events that "would profoundly and permanently change the nation." The cast is a who's who of the '60s: Daniel Ellsberg, Jane Fonda, Julius Lester, and others, from undercover FBI agents to rock musicians, most of whom offer sharp insights into the period. After all these years, many echo an LSD dealer's comments: "We were young and naive, and drunk on idealism." "We were so arrogant," says Weatherman Mark Rudd. Most share feminist Robin Morgan's observation that in the civil rights and peace movements, "the human spirit was really at its best." Weathermen founder Bill Ayers says he will apologize for his actions when Henry Kissinger says "what he did that was wrong, because he killed three million people, and I killed no one." People like Bingham (b. 1963), who "missed the party," may be astonished by aspects of this tumultuous story. Baby boomers will find themselves infuriated once again by vivid accounts of the My Lai massacre, the Kent State and Jackson State shootings, and other tumultuous events.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2016

        In her latest work, Bingham (Class Action) has compiled an assortment of oral histories ranging from August 1969 to August 1970. Organized into narrative form, the accounts capture volatile and revolutionary change, relaying a feeling for what it was like to live during this period. The material includes profiles of participants associated with the Black Panthers, the trial of the Chicago Eight in 1969, Kent State University in the wake of the 1970 shootings, the My Lai Massacre in 1968, the Nixon administration, the Pentagon Papers, the Weathermen, and Woodstock. Broader topics touch on the Vietnam War, the draft, domestic terrorism, and the peace and women's movements. Together the descriptions of events reveal the radicalness and turmoil of the era. Bingham's prose is often engaging and dramatic, transferring the experience of these times to readers. Additionally, the reports draw out the earnestness of the participants as players within this political and cultural conflict. VERDICT Recommended for readers of U.S. history.--Scott Vieira, Rice Univ. Lib., Houston

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2016
        Vietnam, domestic bombings, marches, student strikes, political trials, Nixon, and the counterculture dominated U.S. news between August 1969 and September 1970. Former White House correspondent for Newsweek, Bingham (Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law, 2002) captures the essence of these 14 months through the words of movement organizers, vets, students, draft resisters, journalists, musicians, government agents, writers, and others. Distilled from 100 interviews, these firsthand narrativesfrom Bill Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn, Daniel Ellsberg, and many morepaint a picture of life during the apex of anti-war, anti-government movements. Organized around major events, the stories are interspersed with striking photographs and government documents from the White House, FBI, and other federal offices. The individuals Bingham features led a seismic shift in American culture and politics that continues to resonate today. This oral history will enable readers to see that era in a new light and with fresh sympathy for the motivations of those involved. While Bingham's is one of many retrospective looks at that period, it is one of the most immediate and personal.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
The electrifying story of the turbulent year when the sixties ended and America teetered on the edge of revolution
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
As the 1960s drew to a close, the United States was coming apart at the seams. From August 1969 to August 1970, the nation witnessed nine thousand protests and eighty-four acts of arson or bombings at schools across the country. It was the year of the My Lai massacre investigation, the Cambodia invasion, Woodstock, and the Moratorium to End the War. The American death toll in Vietnam was approaching fifty thousand, and the ascendant counterculture was challenging nearly every aspect of American society. Witness to the Revolution, Clara Bingham's unique oral history of that tumultuous time, unveils anew that moment when America careened to the brink of a civil war at home, as it fought a long, futile war abroad.
Woven together from one hundred original...
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Witness to the Revolution Radicals Resisters Vets Hippies and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul
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Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul
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Random House Publishing Group