This book tells the story of 1960—a tumultuous, transitional year that unleashed the forces that eventually reshaped the American nation and the entire planet, to the joy of millions and the sorrow of millions more.
In 1960, Pat Robertson created the Christian Broadcasting Network, an issue of Time magazine describes the drug LSD as a useful “facilitating agent” for therapy, and smokers in the United States bought nearly one million cigarettes every minute in that year—truly “a different time.” Yet many aspects of what we take for granted in modern American culture were birthed in that critical year over half a century ago.
In 1960, attitudes were changing; barriers were falling. It was a transitional year, during which the world as we know it today was beginning to take shape. While other books have focused on the presidential contest between Kennedy and Nixon, A New World to Be Won: John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and the Tumultuous Year of 1960 illuminates the emerging forces that would transform the nation and the world during the 1960s, putting the election in the broader context of American history—and world history as well.
While the author does devote a large portion of this book to the 1960 presidential campaign, he also highlights four pivotal trends that changed life for decades to come: unprecedented scientific breakthroughs, ranging from the Xerox copier to new spacecraft for manned flight; fragmentation of the international power structure, notably the schism between the Soviet Union and China; the pursuit of freedom, both through the civil rights movement at home and the drive for independence in Africa; and the elevation of pleasure and self-expression in American culture, largely as a result of federal approval of the birth-control pill and the increasing popularity of illegal drugs.
• Photographs of key newsmakers and important events throughout the year
• A bibliography with a detailed listing of more than 400 sources, including oral histories, government publications, memoirs, and journals
• A comprehensive index by name and subject
• Footnotes for the full manuscript
• Presents for the first time a detailed examination of an incredibly important year that foreshadowed the tumultuous decade of the 1960s
• Highlights key developments and broad trends that shaped present-day America
• Recounts important events that have descended into obscurity, including the Greensboro sit-ins and the shooting down of an American U-2 over the Soviet Union
• Profiles 12 Americans who emerged in 1960 to launch influential careers, including Bob Newhart, Cassius Clay, Harper Lee, and Lamar Hunt