Framing The Sixties -- The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush by Bernard von Bothmer, UMass. Press '10 paperback, $28.95, 290 pages, ISBN #1558497323. Index, source notes, appendix, no bibliography or illustrations.
The mere mention of "The Sixties" to an American of a certain age is likely to evoke a knee-jerk response. But depending on that person's political orientation, that response could be very good, as he recalls JFK's New Frontier, the Good Society, and the civil rights movement; or very bad, as he conjures up cities burning, antiwar protesters, and the revolt of the counterculture.
In his new book, historian Bernard von Bothmer recalls that tumultuous decade through the lens of four U.S. presidents -- Reagan, the two Bushes and Clinton -- and deconstructs how each of them advanced his own political agenda by positive or negative public references to the '60s. In crafting this new work, von Bothmer drew on interviews with more than 120 major players of the time, such as Julian Bond, Daniel Ellsberg, Robert Bork, and James Baker.
Von Bothmer teaches American history at the University of San Francisco and at Dominican University of California.