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The Sixties Unplugged: A Kaleidoscopic History of a Disorderly Decade Paperback – Unabridged, 3 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (3 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330441728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330441728
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 700,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A thought-provoking study'
-- Big Issue in the North

About the Author

Gerard DeGroot is a Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrew’s, where he has taught since 1985. An American by birth, he came to Britain in 1980 to do a Ph.D. at Edinburgh University. He is the author of ten highly acclaimed books on twentieth-century history and has published widely in academic journals and in the popular press. His study of the atomic bomb, The Bomb: A Life, won the RUSI Westminster Medal, awarded in Britain to the best book published in the English language on a war or military topic.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SixtiesShowbiz on 4 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author contends that the Sixties were not as some rose tinted spectacle wearers would have it - peace and love, an unprecedented freedom for youth, opportunities aplenty etc - and that some serious damage went down in the form of violence, tin pot dictatorships, civil riots, assassinations etc.
While that may be true, the 1960s were actually how the people who lived through it, see and remember the decade. Most of youth were not politically interested, nor interested in the country's economy. their accent firmly fixed on the social upheaval taking place of which they were active in.
While some of the events the author chooses to cover are well remembered. they are only so in an "association" sort of way. The real 1960s for me went down at the micro. everyday level - and thats the 1960s that the rose tinters actually went through, remembered and loved.
That said, Degroots book is enjoyable and a trip back to Nostalgia Central - albeit in a different dimension of The Golden Decade.
I recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Miller on 14 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
enjoyed reading the seventies - which I knew more about. really enjoyed this as it is one step further back so lots more has been forgotten or only hazily remembered. so it brings lots of it back, again in really useful bite sized chunks. you don't have to read on and on if the subject doesn't interest you. after a few pages it will be something else. that's why, again, I think these books would be great for school kids who need to know more recent history but don't have the best attention spans (perhaps) and want a really broard look at lots of world events. Finally, just like the seventies, if you get depressed by today's headlines just read these books. It's all happened before. we've been through it all before. violence, problems, bad things - as a nation and as a world we do seem to get through them and survive. so there is plenty of room for optimism!
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Format: Hardcover
De Groot’s aim is to de-romanticise the 60s - the hippies were self-indulgent druggies, political protesters were deluded fantasists, the Woodstock and Isle of Wight festivals were disappointing failures and the politics were just disastrous. He re-names “the summer of love” as “the summer of rape”. In fact he has nothing positive at all to say about the decade, apart from a sneeking admiration for the Provo movement of Amsterdam (and I thought that maybe this betrayed his origins, but he is in fact Californian by birth)
Most of the book concentrates on the American experience of the decade but when he strays into an analysis of Britain, his knowledge seems to be lacking. For example, when referring to the Isle of Wight Festival of 1969, he says it was “undiluted nightmare. Far from being a love-in, it was a cash-in....disgusting hot dogs at exorbitant prices...the latrines stank”. This is middle-class, middle-aged nonsense. For the average teenager, the festival was all that could be expected. Every big name in the contemporary rock world put on a wonderful performance, the only disappointment at the time being Dylan himself who was suitably enigmatic. And the standards of the toilets and hot-dogs seem the strangest criteria to be judging any cultural event.
Similarly, De Groot seems oddly ill-informed when it comes to commenting on British student protest during the 1960s. “At most British universities protests were infrequent, small and invariably peaceful.The one exception was the LSE”. I am not sure that Patrick Wall, MP for Haltemprice, would agree. He and his wife were attacked at Leeds University and he was subject to vicious demonstrations when he attempted to speak at Warwick, York and Southampton universities because he was regarded as a “racist” and a Powellite.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steph Ballett on 29 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this book to use as reference for an essay. Found the information to not be accurate. Showed this to a relative who was a teenager in the 60's who also found this book inaccurate.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Madrid Lover on 16 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A superb antidote to the rose-tinted view of the 60s often trotted out in the media. I lived through the 60s and a lot of what deGroot writes is spot on, especially his view that many of the movements at that time were deeply sexist. I've always felt that the 60s led to the infantilisation of subsequent generations and that much of the radicalism and protest had at its root a 'me me me' philosophy about as sophisticated as that of your average obsterporous 4-year-old. This book has done nothing to change my mind.

By the way, contrary to what another reviewer writes, Ben and Jerry DO do an ice cream called Cherry Guevara. It states on the container, "The revolutionary struggle of the cherries was squashed as they were trapped between two layers of chocolate. May their memory live on in your mouth." As you finish the ice cream you're left with a wooden stick with the words "We will bite to the end!"
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