Friday, October 25, 2013

First Paragraph

It is now closing in on a half-century since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on the streets of Dallas on November 22, 1963. No other event in the postwar era, not even the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has cast such a long shadow over our national life. The murder of the handsome and vigorous president shocked the nation to its core and shook the faith of many Americans in their institutions and way of life. The repercussions from that event continue to be felt down to the present day. Looking back through the decades, it seems clear that Kennedy's death marked an important turning point in American life, after which time events began to move in strange and unexpected directions. This was the moment, if there was a particular moment, when the cultural consensus of the 1950s began to give way to the oppositional and experimental culture that we associate with the 1960s.

- From Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism by James Piereson


John said...

Interesting. This "oppositional and experimental culture" is, indeed, a contrast with the "cultural consensus" of the Fifties, following WWII. But prior to that the country was always oppositional and experimental, from the founding of the colonies along sectarian lines to the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the years leading up to WWII. There was even huge opposition to the country's entry into WWI. Looks like that "cultural consensus" was the abberation.

Michael Wade said...


All turbulence is relative. This reminds me of the accuracy of the expression "war broke out" versus "peace broke out."