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Chicago ’68

Entertaining and scrupulously researched, Chicago ’68 reconstructs the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago—an epochal moment in American cultural and political history. By drawing on a wide range of sources, Farber tells and retells the story of the protests in three different voices, from the perspectives of the major protagonists—the Yippies, the National Mobilization to End the War, and Mayor Richard J. Daley and his police. He brilliantly recreates all the excitement and drama, the violently charged action and language of this period of crisis, giving life to the whole set of cultural experiences we call "the sixties."

"Chicago ’68 was a watershed summer. Chicago ’68 is a watershed book. Farber succeeds in presenting a sensitive, fairminded composite portrait that is at once a model of fine narrative history and an example of how one can walk the intellectual tightrope between ’reporting one’s findings’ and offering judgements about them."—Peter I. Rose, Contemporary Sociology

Read an excerpt.

334 pages | 28 halftones, 1 map | 6 x 9 | © 1988

Chicago and Illinois

Culture Studies

History: American History


"Like moths attracted to a bright and dangerous flame, American radicals knew they would have to be in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention. . . .  Farber offers a nuanced interior view of the radicals’ chaotically shifting mood as they flitted in and out of the city. [He] takes pains to get the texture of things right."

Nelson Lichtenstein | New York Times

"This fast-paced chronicle . . .  illuminates the hopes and self-righteousness of both protestors and protectors of the social order. The Yippies tried to interject hippie culture into the politics of participatory democracy, but, argues Farber, they fell back on slogans and charismatic leadership. His thoughtful narrative captures the energy and optimism of the '60s, and it includes revealing cameos of Paul Krassner, Ed Sanders, Dave Dellinger, Tom Hayden and other familiar figures."

Publishers Weekly

"Historian Farber successsfully uses Chicago in the political summer of 1968 as a metaphor for the confluence of American political-cultural impulses of the 1960s. He discusses the Youth International Party (Yippies), Mobilization to End the War, and Mayor Richard J. Daley. He plumbs the factions and contradictions of the media-driven New Left with an acuity that exceeds that of Todd Gitlin in The Sixties . The book is exceptionally well written and researched, with special attention devoted to the underground news sources, films, and interviews. Highly recommended."

Library Journal

Table of Contents

1. Making Yippie!
2. The Politics of Laughter
3. Gandhi and Guerrilla
4. Mobilizing in Molasses
5. The Mayor and the Meaning of Clout
6. The City of Broad Shoulders
7. The Streets Belong to the People
8. Inside Yippie!
9. Thinking about the Mobe and Chicago ’68
10. Public Feelings

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