Originally published 06/16/2013
Credit: Wiki Commons.The virtues and vices of 1960s liberalism are on striking display in Bancroft-Prize winning historian James Patterson’s The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America. And as Patterson deftly shows, the extremes were fused into the presidential administration as well as personal character of Lyndon Baines Johnson.“These are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem,” declared LBJ in lighting the National Christmas Tree on December 18, 1964. “Today -- as never before -- man has in his possession the capacities to end war and preserve peace, to eradicate poverty and share abundance, to overcome the diseases that have afflicted the human race and permit all mankind to enjoy their promise in life on this earth.”
Originally published 05/08/2013
Jeffrey Aaron Snyder: Review of James Patterson's "The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Changed America" (Basic Books, 2012)
Jeffrey Aaron Snyder is a historian of education who writes about the twentieth-century United States. He teaches at Carleton College.When did “the Sixties” begin? The answer, James Patterson says, is 1965, after which “life in the United States would never be the same again.” When President Lyndon Baines Johnson lit the national Christmas tree in December of 1964, he declared that “these are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem.” One year later, Watts was still smoldering while thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the White House to chant “Hey, hey, LBJ! How many kids have you killed today?” The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Changed America tells the absorbing story of how we got from the promise of Bethlehem to the nightmares of Vietnam and race riots.