From civil rights to free love, JFK to LSD, Woodstock to the Moonwalk, the Sixties was a time of change, political unrest, and radical experiments in the arts, sexuality, and personal identity. In this anthology of more than one hundred selections of essays, poetry, and fiction by some of Americas most gifted writers, Ann Charters sketches the unfolding of this most turbulent decade.
The Portable Sixties Reader is organized into thematic chapters, from the Civil Rights movement to the Anti-Vietnam movement, the Free Speech movement, the Counterculture movement, drugs and the movement into Inner Space, the Beats and other fringe literary movements, the Black Arts movement, the Womens movement, and the Environmental movement. The concluding chapter, “Elegies for the Sixties,” offers tributes to ten figures whose lives—and deaths—captured the spirit of the decade.
Edward Abbey, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Richard Brautigan, Lenny Bruce, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, Jim Carroll, Rachel Carson, Carlos Castenada, Bob Dylan, Betty Friedan, Nikki Giovanni, Michael Herr, Abbie Hoffman, Robert Hunter, Ken Kesey, Martin Luther King, Jr., Timothy Leary, Denise Levertov, Norman Mailer, Malcolm X, Country Joe McDonald, Kate Millet, Tim OBrien, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Gloria Steinem, Hunter S. Thompson, Calvin Trillin, Alice Walker, Eudora Welty and more.
"Kerouac biographer and veteran anthologist Charters successfully conveys the atmosphere of the 1960s for those who lived through it, and those who did not....A 25-page chronology of the decade will prove useful for those born after 1960, as well as offering forgotten tidbits for middle-aged and elderly readers." Kirkus Reviews
Includes bibliographical references (p. 607-614).
Ann Charters has had a forty-year involvement in reading, collecting, and writing about the literature of the Counterculture. She edited The Portable Beat Reader, The Portable Jack Kerouac, two volumes of Kerouac's Selected Letters and Beat Down to Your Soul.
The Sixties: A Chronology
Part One: Struggling to Be Free: The Civil Rights Movement
JAMES BALDWIN - "The Dangerous Road Before Martin Luther King"
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. - "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"
ROSA PARKS - from Rosa Parks: My Story
ANNE MOODY - from Coming of Age in Mississippi
EUDORA WELTY - "Where Is the Voice Coming From?"
CALVIN TRILLIN - "The March"
BOB DYLAN - "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"
DUDLEY RANDALL - "Ballad of Birmingham"
ROBERT LOWELL - "For the Union Dead"
MALCOLM X - "The Ballot or the Bullet"
ALICE WALKER - "The Civil Rights Movement: What Good Was It?"
CHARLES JOHNSON - from Dreamer
Part Two: End It! And End It Now!: The Anti-Vietnam Movement
THOMAS MERTON - "Original Child Bomb"
SUSAN SONTAG - "What's Happening in America (1966)"
DENISE LEVERTOV - "Life at War"
"Overheard over S. E. Asia"
ROBERT BLY - "The Teeth Mother Naked at Last"
DAVID LANCE GOINES - "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"
ANN CHARTERS - "How to Maintain a Peaceful Demonstration"
NORMAN MAILER - from The Armies of the Night: "A Confrontation by the River"
ROBERT CHATAIN - from "On the Perimeter"
MICHAEL HERR - from Dispatches
TIM O'BRIEN - "The Man I Killed"
RON KOVIC - from Born on the Fourth of July
JANICE MIRIKITANI - "Attack the Water"
YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA - "Tunnels"
"'You and I Are Disappearing'"
"2527th Birthday of the Buddha"
Part Three: Why Can We Not Begin Anew? The Free Speech Movement and Beyond
DAVE MANDEL - "Battle of Berkeley Talking Blues"
LEE FELSENSTEIN - "Put My Name Down"
RICHARD KAMPF - "Hey Mr. Newsman"
DAN PAIK - "There's a Man Taking Names"
RICHARD SCHMORLEITZ AND DAN PAIK - "I Walked Out in Berkeley"
DAVID LANCE GOINES - from The Free Speech Movement
"The Rules of the Game... When You're Busted"
"Wanted: Hip Cops"
ALLEN GINSBERG - "Demonstration or Spectacle as Example, as Communication - or How to Make a March/Spectacle"
HUNTER THOMPSON - from Hell's Angels: "The Dope Cabala and a Wall of Fire"
KAY BOYLE - "Testament for My Students, 1968-1969"
ANDREW GORDON - "Smoking Dope with Thomas Pynchon: A Sixties Memoir"
DONALD BARTHELME - "The Police Band"
ABBIE HOFFMAN - "Che's Last Letter"
WILLAM S. BURROUGHS - "The Coming of the Purple Better One"
EDWARD SANDERS - "Yeats in the Gas"
Part Four: "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die": The Counterculture Movement
COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD - "I Feel Like I'm Fixin'-to-Die Rag"
DOUGLAS BLAZEK - "THE little PHENOMENA"
EMMETT GROGAN - from Ringolevio
R. G. DAVIS - "A Minstrel Show or: Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel"
SALLY TOMLINSON - "Psychedelic Rock Posters: History, Ideas, and Art"
MICHAEL LYDON - "The Rolling Stones - At Play in the Apocalypse"
ROBERT HUNTER - "New Speedway Boogie"
SHERMAN ALEXIE - "Because My Father Always Said He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock"
Part Five: Adrift in the Age of Aquarius: Drugs and the Movement into Inner Space
TIMOTHY LEARY - "Turning On the World"
DIANE DI PRIMA - "The Holidays at Millbrook - 1966"
CARLOS CASTANEDA - from The Teachings of Don Juan
N. SCOTT MOMADAY - from House Made of Dawn
KEN KESEY - "Letters from Mexico"
LENNY BRUCE - "Pills and Shit: The Drug Scene"
JIM CARROLL - from The Basketball Diaries
Part Six: Living in the Revolution: The Beats and Some Other Literary Movements at the Edge
CHARLES OLSON - "The Hustings"
LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI - Letters to Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Peter Orlovsky, 1961-1962
ALLEN GINSBERG - "Kral Majales"
DIANE DI PRIMA - "Revolutionary Letters #1, 3, 5, 8"
GARY SNYDER - "Poke Hole Fishing After the March"
MICHAEL MCCLURE - from Ghost Tantras
BOB KAUFMAN - "Grandfather Was Queer, Too"
JOHN CLELLON HOLMES - "Visitor: Jack Kerouac in Old Saybrook"
RICHARD BRAUTIGAN - "The Cleveland Wrecking Yard"
CHARLES BUKOWSKI - from Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Part Seven: Out of the Fire: The Black Arts Movement and the Reshaping of Black Consciousness
LARRY NEAL - "The Black Arts Movement"
DON L. LEE - from Think Black 1965-1967
HAKI R. MADHUBUTI - "Malcolm Spoke/who listened?"
ETHERIDGE KNIGHT - "The Idea of Ancestry"
AL YOUNG - "Conjugal Visits"
"A Dance for Ma Rainey"
NIKKI GIOVANNI - "My Poem"
CAROLYN M. RODGERS - "It Is Deep"
AMIRI BARAKA - "Numbers, Letters"
ISHMAEL REED - "Eldridge Cleaver - Writer"
ALLEN POLITE - "Song"
"Why They Are in Europe?"
["We Knew Our Loneliness and Told It"]
Part Eight: With Our Arms Upraised: The Women's Movement and the Sexual Revolution
BETTY FRIEDAN - from The Feminine Mystique
KATE MILLETT - from Sexual Politics
MURIEL RUKEYSER - "Poem"
SYLVIA PLATH - "Lady Lazarus"
ANNE SEXTON - "The Abortion"
"The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator"
DENISE LEVERTOV - "About Marriage"
DIANE WAKOSKI - "Belly Dancer"
HETTIE JONES- from How I Became Hettie Jones
VALERIE SOLANAS - from SCUM Manifesto
GLORIA STEINEM - "A New Egalitarian Life Style"
Part Nine: In Defense of the Earth: The Environmental Movement
RACHEL CARSON - from Silent Spring
PETER MATTHIESSEN - from Wildlife in America
DIANE DI PRIMA - "Revolutionary Letter #16"
GARY SNYDER - "What You Should Know to Be a Poet"
"Revolution in the Revolution in the Revolution"
"Smokey the Bear Sutra"
LEW WELCH - "Preface to Hermit Poems, The Bath"
["I Know a Man's Supposed to Have His Hair Cut Short"]
["I Burn Up the Deer in My Body"]
["Step Out onto the Planet"]
"The Song Mt. Tamalpais Sings"
WENDELL BERRY - "To the Unseeable Animal"
EDWARD ABBEY - "The Serpents of Paradise"
N. SCOTT MOMADAY - from The Way to Rainy Mountain
Part Ten: Ten Elegies for the Sixties
for Ernest Hemingway: ARCHIBALD MACLEISH - "Hemingway"
for Marilyn Monroe: MICHAEL MCCLURE - from Ghost Tantras, #39
for John F. Kennedy: ERIC VON SCHMIDT - "Kennedy Blues"
for Sylvia Plath: JOHN BERRYMAN - from The Dream Songs, #172
for Malcolm X: ETHERIDGE KNIGHT - "The Sun Came"
for Martin Luther King, Jr.: DON L. LEE - "Assassination"
for Robert F. Kennedy: LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI - "Assassination Raga"
for Neal Cassady: ALLEN GINSBERG - "On Neal's Ashes"
for Janis Joplin: MARILYN HACKER - "Elegy"
for Jack Kerouac: The Harvard Crimson - "Kerouac, 1922-1969"
Alphabetical List of Authors and Titles