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The Spirit of '68 Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976 by Gerd-Rainer (Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Warwick) Horn

The Spirit of '68 Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976

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The Spirit of '68 Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956-1976 by Gerd-Rainer (Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Warwick) Horn

In virtually all corners of the Western world, 1968 witnessed a highly unusual sequence of popular rebellions. In Italy, France, Spain, Vietnam, the United States, West Germany, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, and elsewhere, millions of individuals took matters into their own hands to counter imperialism, capitalism, autocracy, bureaucracy, and all forms of hierarchical thinking. Recent reinterpretations have sought to play down any real challenge to the socio-political status quo in these events, but Gerd-Rainer Horn's book offers a spirited counterblast. 1968, he argues, opened up the possibility that economic and political elites on both sides of the Iron Curtain could be toppled from their position of unnatural superiority to make way for a new society where everyday people could, for the first time, become masters of their own destiny. Furthermore, Horn contends, the moment of crisis and opportunity culminating in 1968 must be seen as part of a larger period of experimentation and revolt. The ten years between 1956 and 1966, characterised above all by the flourishing of iconoclastic cultural rebellions, can be regarded as a preparatory period which set the stage for the non-conformist cum political revolts of the subsequent 'red' decade (1966-1976). Horn's geographic centres of attention are Western Europe, including the first full examination of Mediterranean revolts, and North America. He placed particular emphasis on cultural nonconformity, the student movement, working class rebellions, the changing contours of the Left, and the meaning of participatory democracy. His book will make fascinating reading for anyone interested in this turbulent period and the fundamental changes that were wrought upon societies either side of the Atlantic.


The Spirit of '68 is marked by an impressive mastery of languages and national source-bases, and is particularly valuable for its treatment of previously overlooked cases... It should find a place in both undergraduate and graduate classrooms. * Timothy Scott Brown, European History Quarterly * Altogether, the book covers an amazing range not only of countries and dates, but also of social subjects, from students to workers to women...I particularly appreciate the spirit of this book in our time of widespread pessimism. * Luisa Passerini, American Historical Review * Horn's cosmopolitanism and internationalism are admirable. * Michael Siedman, English Historical Review * I strongly recommend it...superb. * International Socialism * A lively and detailed study...Horn brings an admirable breadth of learning and enthusiasm to his subject. * Steve Andrew, Morning Star * ...makes for an interesting and stimulating reading not least because of its accessible style, attention to detail, passionate argument and choice of fresh case studie. * Anna Menge, History * Review from previous edition Written from the perspective of a participant observer, this is critical history in the Nietzschean sense. At no point naively optimistic about the chances for success, it nonetheless aims at reviving the volatile Spirit of '68 , and thus at making the potential of the past available for the present. * Kay Schiller, TLS *

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd October 2008


Gerd-Rainer (Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Warwick) Horn

More books by Gerd-Rainer (Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Warwick) Horn
Author 'Like for Like'


Oxford University Press


264 pages


General & world history
Political control & freedoms
Social & cultural history
Demonstrations & protest movements



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