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1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark…

1968: The Year That Rocked the World

by Mark Kurlansky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
The author reviews the turmoil of 1968 - protests, murders, revolts, etc. ( )
  addunn3 | Feb 6, 2019 |
This is what it says on the tin, a look at 1968, month by month, crisis by crisis.

And it’s Mark Kurlansky, one of my favorite history writers, so it has a lot of positives.

But, it is written with a certain bias – from the left, which is fine if that’s the way you lean, too. I don’t, so I didn’t agree with some of his opinions or insights.

That didn’t make it a bad thing, it just made me wince every now and then when he said something I didn’t find true.

That’s all beside the point. The point is, 1968 was a pivotal year in world history, and this is a very good look at it – flaws and all.

Up soon for me, now that it’s 2019, I’m going to tackle a book about 1969!

For more of my book reviews, go to Ralphsbooks. ( )
  ralphz | Dec 31, 2018 |
1968 was a remarkable year for student protests and unrest around the globe. In this lively, entertaining and completely biased account, Kurlansky examines the many landmark things that happened that year. Of course the times were tumltuous and 1968 was just a year when a lot of things boiled over, in a lot of different places. The actual scope of the book covers more than just that year, though that is clearly the focus.

Kurlansky's sympathies lie to the left and so that colors his account of some things. Furthermore, occasionally the diverse perspectives of global movements are occasionally flattened (though I think he tries to compensate for this). These caveats aside, this an entertaining and informative read. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Biographies of years are becoming increasingly common; we've had "!000", "1927" and "1932" recently (although we probably can't count "1984" as a biography) and here's the always top notch Mark Kurlansky with his book on "1968".

If you're going to write a biography of a year you could do a lot worse than pick a year like 1968. It had it all, from Olympic Games related massacres, the Prague Spring, Paris Riots, Chicago riots, Vietnam and loads of hijacked planes headed for Cuba.

There's a lot to like here, especially as I'm one of those people who were born too late to experience 1968 firsthand but "1968" was that rare mix of an entertaining and educational read. ( )
  MiaCulpa | May 15, 2017 |
Chronicle of 1968 in America ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
1968 was a long time ago. A woman astonished Italy by refusing to marry her rapist, thus denying him the customary reprieve. Someone shouted "retire!" at De Gaulle as he passed by in a pre-May motorcade and was fined 500 francs for "attacking the honour of the Head of State". Airline stewardesses were subject to "touch checks" to ensure they were wearing girdles. The year used to cast a long historical shadow, but since the Fall of the Wall and 9/11, 1968 has become, like 1492, 1776, 1814, 1848, 1914 and 1929, just another big date in history, barely qualifying for that elite list.
added by stephmo | editThe Independent, Joe Boyd (May 2, 2004)
Mark Kurlansky, biographer of cod and historian of salt, is a very superior journalist: diligent in his research, quirkily original in his insights, swift and clear in his storytelling. He goes where others don't think of treading and tries to illumine obscure corners of human experience. But 1968 - the year of the Paris riots, the Tet offensive, the Prague spring and the murders of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King - is more than a fillet of bacalao .
added by stephmo | editObserver, Peter Preston (Apr 18, 2004)
Mark Kurlansky is a writer of remarkable talents and interests who has written best-sellers about subjects -- such as cod fishing and the history of salt -- that most people would never think worth writing about. Here, in "1968," a highly readable new work, he undertakes what is essentially the biography of a year unlike any that had come before it, a year in which "there occurred a spontaneous combustion of rebellious spirits around the world."
In the year 1968, young people in Czechoslovakia and Poland rioted against communism; in Spain and Portugal against fascism; in the United States against the Vietnam War and the capitalistic power structure overseeing it. College students and others of their age group battled police in Paris, Berlin and Mexico City.
added by stephmo | editSeattle Times, Bob Simmons (Jan 16, 2004)
Those were the days, that was the year.

Our 21st-century times may seem tumultuous, with wars and terrorists and epidemics, but they appear placid when compared with the year of 1968 when much of the world teetered on the brink of the apocalypse.

» Add other authors (9 possible)

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Mark Kurlanskyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sjögren, FrederikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345455827, Paperback)

Given its broad and vibrant subject, it would be quite difficult for a writer of any proficiency to pen a boring book on 1968, and Mark Kurlansky has indeed pulled together an entertaining and enlightening popular history with 1968: The Year That Rocked the World. With the Vietnam War and Soviet repression providing sparkplugs in the East and West, student movements heated up in Berkeley, Prague, Mexico City, Paris, and dozens of other hotspots. With youth in ascendancy, music, film, and athletics became generational battlegrounds between opposition forces that couldn't be more appalled with one another. Not so fortuitously, the Summer Olympics in Mexico City and a presidential election in the United States conspired to elevate the tension higher as months passed. Kurlansky is skilled at concisely capturing the personalities behind the conflicts, whether they be heartbroken Czech leader Alexander Dubcek as Eastern Bloc troops violently suppress his nation's uprising or respected veteran newsman Walter Cronkite reluctantly editorializing against the war in Vietnam. The author is more than willing to choose heroes (the doomed Robert Kennedy) and villains (victorious presidential candidate Richard Nixon), and clearly sides with the rebels in most cases. In general, Kurlansky is more adept at covering the political front than he is the equally revolutionary arts world, and it's apparent that any chapter in this book could be expanded into a book of its own. One's expectation is that captivated readers will view 1968 as a portal into a deeper exploration of a fascinating time. --Steven Stolder

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:32 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

To some, 1968 was the year of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Yet it was also the year of the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy assassinations; the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; Prague Spring; the antiwar movement and the Tet Offensive; Black Power; the generation gap; avant-garde theater; the upsurge of the women's movement; and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. Mark Kurlansky brings to life the cultural and political history of that pivotal year, when television's influence on global events first became apparent, and spontaneous uprisings occurred simultaneously around the world. Encompassing the diverse realms of youth and music, politics and war, economics and the media, 1968 shows how twelve volatile months transformed who we were as a people -- and led us to where we are today.… (more)

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