The 1960s on Film
by Jim Willis and Mark Miller
October 2021, 191pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6877-1
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6878-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

On October 1, 1962, James H. Meredith became the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi.

The 1960s on Film tells the narrative of the 1960s through the lens of the movie camera, analyzing 10 films that focus on the people, events, and issues of the decade.

Films create both an impression of and — at times for younger audiences — a primary definition of events, people, and issues of an era. The 1960s on Film examines the 1960s as the decade was presented in ten films that focused on that decade. Discussion will focus on both what the films have to say about the era and how close they come to accurately depicting it.

For example, films such as Mississippi Burning and Selma tell the story of racial conflict and hope for reconciliation in the 1960s. Other films such as The Right Stuff and Hidden Figures show the deep fascination America had at that time with the burgeoning space program and NASA, while Easy Rider analyzes the role of rock music and drugs among young people of the decade. The Deer Hunter studies the controversies surrounding the war in Vietnam. The Graduate, Mad Men, JFK, and Thirteen Days also receive significant treatment in this exciting volume.


  • Provides a window into the 1960s by assessing how films about that decade portrayed people, events, and issues of the era
  • Shows how movies can teach us about a given era's history and make that history more engaging through the dramatic arts and storytelling
  • Provides a new perspective on the well-researched decade of the 1960s, through the lens of the movie camera
  • Suggests areas of further exploration for students of popular culture
Jim Willis, PhD, is professor emeritus of journalism at California's Azusa Pacific University, a prolific author, and a veteran journalist. He holds his doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri, has been a frequent lecturer in Europe, and reported on such momentous events as the Syrian refugee crisis in Germany, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. He has authored or coauthored 16 books including Tweeting to Freedom, Daily Life Behind the Iron Curtain, The Media Effect, and The Human Journalist.

Mark Miller, BA, is a summa cum laude graduate of Azusa Pacific University, where he majored in journalism and Spanish. He has worked as a freelance writer and is an editor, a designer, and a proofreader for several publications, books, and organizations. He lives in Southern California.

Hollywood History

Just exactly how accurate are Hollywood's film and television portrayals of U.S. history? What do these portrayals tell us, not only about the events they depict, but also the time in which they were made? Each volume in this unique reference series is devoted to a single topic or key theme in U.S. history, examining approximately 10 major motion pictures or television productions. Substantial essays summarize each film, provide a historical background of the event or period it depicts, and explain how accurate the film’s depiction is, while also analyzing the cultural context in which the film was made.
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