Think the 1960s are over?
Find out what they’re still doing to presidential politics.
The decade that gave us John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and Woodstock has been used as a fulcrum in presidential politics—by both parties—ever since Ronald Reagan, a fierce critic of “the sixties,” captured the presidency in 1980.
Every campaign that followed—including Obama’s—has used the era to define itself to its own constituencies. What was best about the sixties for some people is what was worst about it for others. Of that, political contests are made.
Now, as no other historian has done, Bernard von Bothmer follows the trail of the 60s into the presidencies of the 80s, 90s, the 00s and up to the present in Framing the Sixties: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush.