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January 29, 2006

1968: The Year That Rocked the World

Mark Kurlansky - ISBN - 0345455827

Kurlansky, author of both Salt and Cod does it again, so to speak. He covers the year of 1968 in extraordinary detail, reminding of just how seminal that year was in the history of the 20th century. It was the year of the assassinations of MKL and Robert Kennedy, the Chicago Seven, Prague Spring, the founding of “Black Power” and a myriad other events.

Those of us who lived thru them will hark back to those times, and get a fresh new look thru the eyes of Kurlansky. Indeed, while he “files” an appropriate disclaimer in his introduction, his liberal bias (and distortion) of some of the events was a little over the top and off base. (Not least is his assertion that centralization results in the dictatorship of Communism, as capitalism is the dictatorship of the rich. Neither is reformable and both are evil—while he’s not quite so blunt.) Still the revisit is engaging and worthwhile.

He explores happenings from all over the globe, their short and long-term impact, and does so in spellbinding detail having researched the many events quite carefully. Included are a host of events from youth and music to politics and war, economics, the media, the Black Panthers and Richard Nixon.

Overall a good read for those of us old enough to remember and a good history for those who are not.

Posted by respeto at January 29, 2006 2:53 PM