Saturday 27 July 2013
Photo, above: University of California, Berkeley Free Speech Movement – 1964-1965. See: Hour 3, Block A, The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America by James T. Patterson
In the 1964–1965 academic year, students at the University of California, Berkeley spent months protesting against the university’s administration. The students wanted a ban on political activities on campus to be lifted, and they demanded that the university accept their right to freedom of expression. The protest began spontaneously on October 1, 1964 when students – as many as 3,000 at one stage – gathered around a police car that held arrested former grad student Jack Weinberg. For 32 hours, students refused to let the car move, and used it as a podium from which to express their views in public, until the authorities dropped the charges against Weinberg. Two months later, up to 4,000 students took over Berkeley campus’ Sproul Hall for almost two full days, before police moved in and started arresting the hundreds still assembled. Even so, the administration finally conceded in January 1965, with Sproul’s steps designated a space for open discussion. This was a huge success for the civil liberties movement, and ever since, Berkeley students have maintained a legacy of activism.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s by Robert O. Self (1 of 4) In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty promised an array of federal programs to assist working-class families. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan declared the GOP the party of “family values” and promised to keep government out of Americans’ lives. Again and again, historians have sought to explain the nation’s profound political realignment from the 1960s to the 2000s, five decades that witnessed the fracturing of liberalism and the rise of the conservative right. The award-winning historian Robert O. Self is the first to argue that the separate threads of that realignment—from civil rights to women’s rights, from the antiwar movement to Nixon’s “silent majority,” from the abortion wars to gay marriage, from the welfare state to neoliberal economic policies—all ran through the politicized American family. . . .
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s by Robert O. Self (2 of 4) Based on an astonishing range of sources, All in the Family rethinks an entire era. Self opens his narrative with the Great Society and its assumption of a white, patriotic, heterosexual man at the head of each family. Soon enough, civil rights activists, feminists, and gay rights activists, animated by broader visions of citizenship, began to fight for equal rights, protections, and opportunities. Led by Pauli Murray, Gloria Steinem, Harvey Milk, and Shirley Chisholm, among many others, they achieved lasting successes, including Roe v. Wade, antidiscrimination protections in the workplace, and a more inclusive idea of the American family. Yet the establishment of . . .
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s by Robert O. Self (3 of 4) . . . new rights and the visibility of alternative families provoked, beginning in the 1970s, a furious conservative backlash. Politicians and activists on the right, most notably George Wallace, Phyllis Schlafly, Anita Bryant, and Jerry Falwell, built a political movement based on the perceived moral threat to the traditional family. Self writes that “family values” conservatives in fact “paved the way” for fiscal conservatives, who shared a belief in liberalism’s invasiveness but lacked a populist message. Reagan’s presidency . . .
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s by Robert O. Self (4 of 4) . . . united the two constituencies, which remain, even in these tumultuous times, the base of the Republican Party. All in the Family, an erudite, passionate, and persuasive explanation of our current political situation and how we arrived in it, will allow us to think anew about the last fifty years of American politics.
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas Dyja (1 of 4) The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream is Chicago-native Thomas Dyja's cultural history of the Windy City at midcentury and how its incredible mix of architects, politicians, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, and actors shaped America’s culture and identity.
Between 1946 and 1960, Chicago was home to the likes of Mies van der Rohe, who produced the architecture that would define corporate America; Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s; Hugh Hefner; . . .
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas Dyja (2 of 4) . . . the Chess brothers, who helped take rock and roll to new heights with Chuck Berry; Nelson Algren and his outlaw novels; Gwendolyn Brooks and her unparalleled poems; Studs Terkel, who captured the heart of America in his oral histories; Mahalia Jackson, who gave gospel mainstream appeal; and Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, who enshrined the Black Chicago experience in their urban blues. Chicago also produced outstanding playwrights, and the Second City, whose famous alumni—Bill Murray, John Belushi, Tina Fey—became synonymous with American comedy and entertainment. In short, Chicago was at the heart of the American Century.
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas Dyja (3 of 4)
“Magisterial… a luminous, empathetic, and engrossing portrait of a city.” – Publishers Weekly
“A readable, richly detailed history of America's second city. A valuable contribution to the history of Chicago.” – Kirkus
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas Dyja (4 of 4)
Thomas Dyja is the author of three novels: Play for a Kingdom, Meet John Trow and The Moon in Our Hands. He also wrote a biography of civil rights pioneer Walter White and continues to create books as an editor-at-large for Thames & Hudson. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, literary agent Suzanne Glick.
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America by James T. Patterson (1 of 4) James T. Patterson takes his title from a song that was released in September 1965, “written primarily by P. J. Sloan, a nineteen-year-old admirer of [Bob] Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ ” and performed recorded by Barry McGuire. Just about everyone associated with “Eve of Destruction” is now forgotten, and the song hasn’t much staying power, but Patterson finds it significant as evidence of a shift then taking place in American popular music, away from bubble-gum soft rock and toward songs of protest: “Its lyrics, accompanied by sounds of bombs going off, were . . .
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America by James T. Patterson (2 of 4) . . . bitter, blunt, and devastatingly bleak about contemporary events, predicting that all manner of terrible developments — war in Vietnam, racial tensions, nuclear weapons — were propelling the United States (and ‘the whole crazy world’) toward the apocalypse.” Things never got quite that bad (not yet, at least), but Patterson certainly is right to see “1965 — the year of military escalation, of Watts, of the splintering of the civil rights movement, and of mounting cultural change and polarization — as the time when America’s social cohesion began to unravel and when the turbulent phenomenon that would be called ‘the Sixties’ broke into view.” To be sure,
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America by James T. Patterson (3 of 4) . . . “historical transformation does not arise out of nowhere on January 1 or end on December 31,” any more than “the Sixties” were contained solely within the decade from which they took their name. But 1965 was clearly a turning point for the United States, beginning its transformation from “a nation at once hopeful and complacent, largely trusting its institutions and feeling assured about its future path, even as certain deprived groups, notably black people, were complaining angrily of exploitation” into one in which many people “seemed to have become considerably less optimistic about the future than they had been a year earlier.”
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America by James T. Patterson (4 of 4)
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (1 of 4) Sam Roberts, who's covered New York for the New York Daily News and New York Times for more than 40 years, does a wonderful job in telling the history of one of the most iconic travel “spots” on the planet. Most people take it for granted; certainly those commuters who pass through it on a daily basis do, with their eyes cast downward or scanning a newspaper while balancing their coffee. But Grand Central Station is not just a railway terminal; for many years, it was the only way to travel across country (and, to my mind, still the most romantic). It was, in a sense, an extension of Ellis Island. Early travelers seeking life beyond the debarkation of their ocean voyage would board trains to, as Aldous Huxley implored, “Go West” (and north and south).
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (2 of 4) "The photos, illustrations, design, and even paper stock contribute to giving GRAND CENTRAL something of a mini coffee-table book flavor; the juxtaposition of light and shadow in the black-and-white shots are almost a metaphor for new opportunities."
Grand Central was the site of many a happy reunion and tearful parting, its coming and going promising adventures, whether for vacationers or people who came to make their fortunes in the ultimate “big city.”
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (3 of 4) And in such style. The planning that went into the design and implementation is the true definition of “form meets function” and rivaled the construction of any museum. Roberts reveals the story of the station (and how amusing is it that the title was released by Grand Central Publishing?) from conception to execution, through various renovations. He captures daring schemes and innovations (and, of course, the usual dollop of corruption) in a manner that’s fresh and inviting. The foreword by long-time New York journalist Pete Hamill goes a long way in adding credibility to this “biography” of the New York (and American) institution.
Saturday 27 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (4 of 4) The photos, illustrations, design, and even paper stock contribute to giving GRAND CENTRAL something of a mini coffee-table book flavor; the juxtaposition of light and shadow in the black-and-white shots are almost a metaphor for new opportunities. Even in their small size, the images seem larger than life. If there’s one complaint, it’s that the book’s trim is too small; this would work much better in a traditional layout, with large photos paying proper homage to the majesty of its subject. Given the cover price for the small version, one can only imagine how much more that might have been.
.. .. ..