1968: Radical Protest and Its Enemies (Hardcover)
Richard Vinen's 1968 chronicles the tumultuous and revolutionary events of 1968 that took place mostly in the US and Europe. Vinen weaves together the narratives of the various radical political, student, and labor groups, their demonstrations and actions, and the reaction of the establishment. Vinen's account is an excellent attempt to examine the causes and effects of events that culminated in a volatile era, reverberated into the 70s, and illuminate many of the ideals and problems of our own uncertain era, forty years later. -Andy— From Summer Booknotes 2018
A major new history of one of the seminal years in the postwar world, when rebellion and disaffection broke out on an extraordinary scale.
The year 1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary—around ten million French workers went on strike and the whole state teetered on the brink of collapse. Others were more easily contained, but had profound longer-term implications—terrorist groups, feminist collectives, gay rights activists could all trace important roots to 1968.
1968 is a striking and original attempt half a century later to show how these events, which in some ways still seem so current, stemmed from histories and societies which are in practice now extraordinarily remote from our own time. 1968 pursues the story into the 1970s to show both the ever more violent forms of radicalization that stemmed from 1968 and the brutal reaction that brought the era to an end.
About the Author
Richard Vinen is a professor of history at King’s College London. He is the author of academic works, most recently National Service, 1945-1963, which won the 2015 Wolfson History Prize, as well as A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century, The Unfree French, and Thatcher's Britain.
“Easily the very best of the new published [books] being considered here.”
— New Republic
“1968 provides a broad overview, sprinkled with salient details…. a good starting point for people wanting to learn more about the struggles so frequently cited as analogous to the ones playing out now.”
— The Clyde Fitch Report
“[R]ich in distinct and acute observations. . . he constructs a new spectrum through which to view 1968’s epic tide of change….Vinen…provide[s]…sophisticated interpretations.”
— Booklist, featured review