What Really Happened to the 1960s: How Mass Media Culture Failed American Democracy

Table of Contents:

1.      The Past as Prologue: Distorted History – Declining Democracy
2.      Roots of the Sixties: Contradictions between Capitalism and Democracy in Postwar America
3.      An Awakening Democratic Dialectic: From Action to Empowerment in the 1960s
4.      Race, Class, and Gender: The Boundaries of Legitimate Media Discourse
5.      Vietnam and the Spheres of Media Discourse
6.      Visual Drama: The Power of the Image
7.      System Response: Generational Hype and Political Backlash
8.      Media, Militancy, and Violence: The Making of the “Bad Sixties”
9.      Domesticating the Sixties: Capitalism’s Cultural Co-optation
10.    Reconstructing the Past, Constructing the Future: Corporate Backlash and the Reagan Revolution
11.    The “Sixties” Nostalgia Market and the Culture of Self-Satire
12.    Cultural Politics and Warlike Discourse
13.    Media Culture and the Future of Democracy

Comments by Readers:

“Morgan contends that understanding how corporate media helped and hindered the democratic movements of the Sixties will help today’s grassroots movements.  He does an excellent job of developing that understanding….  He presents delightfully vivid discussions of iconic and not-so-iconic events and people.”
“The reality of the Sixties has long since been supplanted by ‘the Sixties’ –a propaganda fantasy of Our Great Nation somehow forced into ‘decline’ by a fringe network of hippies and Black Panthers. This gross distortion of the past has led us to misunderstand the present, and –far worse—impairs our vision of a better future. We therefore need to know how such a toxic myth became ‘our’ memory of the Sixties.  There is no better way to grasp that transformation than to read this rich, meticulous, groundbreaking book.”
Mark Crispin Miller, author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV
“Morgan’s highly impressive and important book provides an extremely comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the events and aftermath of the 1960s.” —Douglas Kellner, author of Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy and Media Culture
“Morgan demonstrates that the mainstream media has consistently stressed the sensational and violent aspects of the 1960s while downplaying two of the decade’s most important components: a sense of hope that society could be changed and the sense that the basic social, economic, and political structures of American society were at the heart of our problems….  Sophisticated, provocative, and convincing.”
Robert Justin Goldstein, author ofPolitical Repression in Modern America and Flag Burning and Free Speech
“Morgan has produced a case study of the past that teaches us a great deal about contemporary political discourse. He shows how the mainstream mass media, in its norms and practices, simultaneously promotes—but also limits and contains—democratic engagement.”
William A. Gamson, author of The Strategy of Social Protest
“A valuable exploration for anyone interested in how the workings of mass media and popular culture in America since the 1960s led us to where we are today.”
Timothy W. Luke, author ofScreens of Power: Ideology, Resistance, and Domination in Informational Society

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