Put your Bodies Upon the Wheels
Student Revolt in the 1960s
What began at colleges in the sixties as a rejection of parental authority and the Vietnam War rapidly evolved into a social movement, one with lasting influences in diverse areas of American life. In this powerful narrative analysis of the sixties revolution, Kenneth Heineman explores the ideas that were at the root of student protest and shows how campus unrest polarized American politics, dividing the nation along class and cultural lines. As anti-Communist and Great Society Democrats lost control of the Vietnam War and the unrest in America's inner cities, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the chief organization of the campus-based New Left, gained strength, ending the decade with 100,000 members. From political protest, SDS and its faculty and intellectual allies moved to violent confrontation with university and government officials. Sit-ins, building takeovers, riots, and strikes hit more than 300 of the nation's 2,000 campuses in the 1960s. Between January 1969 and April 1970, young radicals bombed 5,000 police stations, corporate offices, military facilities, and campus buildings. Twenty-six thousand students were arrested and thousands injured or expelled while engaged in protest activities. Meanwhile 57,000 youths, many of whom lacked the financial means to attend college and secure draft deferments, died in Vietnam. Against a backdrop of student protest, the campus drug culture blossomed. In Put Your Bodies Upon the Wheels (a quote from Free Speech leader Mario Savio), Mr. Heineman plays no favorites in indicting misguided ideas and actions on both left and right. While his account may make us wonder what happened to the nation's common sense in those years, his assessment of the causes and consequences of the sixties revolt is an important contribution to the history of a turbulent decade.
Chicago : I.R. Dee, c2001
xii, 251 p. ; 22 cm