1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change

208p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. Candlewick. Sept. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780763689933.
Gr 7 Up—This anthology addresses "the seismic shifts and splits" that characterized the late 1960s and early 70s, including entries on the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the influence of Communism on democracy, and the influence of democracy on Communism. The book also touches on the rise of technology, the history of comedy, and the place of athletes in activism. Many of the essays are personal narratives, which lends the collection a sense of immediacy and emotional intimacy. The editors have crafted a comprehensive work, and while not every essay will compel every reader, there is something to appeal to almost every interest. That said, there are chapters where sexual assault and beatings are described, and David Lubar's "Running with Sharp Shticks" is a miss; Lubar hints at controversy surrounding various comics and their routines but doesn't really dive in, using "the lens of twenty-first century sensibilities and sensitivities" as reasoning why a joke "might be seen as an example of racism, a brilliant parody of racism, or an uncomfortable mix of the two." To encourage research, several of the writers include teasers in the forms of names and terms that might be interesting to explore. The book begins with the essays, but points back to scholarship, or into the world itself, in a delightful way.
VERDICT This wide-ranging anthology is useful as both a print symposium on the topic of 1968 and as a source book for further study.

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