DECADE OF CRISIS: America in the 60's by Andrew & James Ridgeway -- Eds. Kopkind

DECADE OF CRISIS: America in the 60's

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Understated and conventional in style, the politics of this collection is muckraking-plus-voyeuristic nco-anarchism. The pieces, mostly written by Kopkind and Ridgeway, are ""derived from"" the news sheet Hard Times which appeared in the late '60's. They include explicit appraisals of the course of things throughout the decade, but not direct reportage of early-'60's events. The book is often absurdly pretentious: under the rubric ""politics,"" for example, all we get is a sub-section of left-wing politics -- Chicago, Weathermen, Panthers and New Haven, the Chicago conspiracy. Under ""resources"" there is, granted, some of Ridgeway's excellent expose material, and a Nader article, but ""arms"" and ""empire"" merely cover such things as the G.I. movement, Pentagon profits, U.S. sponsorship of police repression abroad, Pan Am's cohabitation with the military, Big Oil in Alaska which is nothing like a military, economic, and political overview of even the late '60's. ""Race"" features a shallow job of plumbing the Kerner Report, and as the New Left fades into Woodstock and the Weathermen into terrorism, the contributors do not abandon their cheerleading: the cultural revolution is a ""sea for politics"" and, whatever you may think about the Weathermen if you're not ""into demolitions,"" they're serious. This kind of wistful, vicarious, button-down enthusiasm was found in the late '60's, and as a reflection of the ""reformist""-""adventurist"" polarities of those years, the book is telling; but as a critique of ""crisis"" in all its ramifications, it's politically solipsistic and self-obsolescent.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1972
Publisher: World