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Uprising at Bowling Green: How the Quiet Fifties Became the Political Sixties

Uprising at Bowling Green: How the Quiet Fifties Became the Political Sixties


Often overlooked, the student demonstration at Bowling Green State University was the first and most successful sixties campus protest-one that speaks volumes about America’s transition from the social mores of the 1950s to 1960s activism. What began as a protest against outdated rules about dating and student behavior quickly turned toward political objectives about civil liberties and ousted the university president.The authors, two of whom were present on campus during the demonstration, tell the story of what began as dissent against the old schoolmarm rules-a fifties-style protest-and how it quickly transformed into a full-fledged sixties crusade, using the new issues, tactics, and identities of the new decade. A major force was an early flexing of feminist muscles. When the uprising succeeded, largely through female leadership, the civil liberties of women were brought up to date.Drawing on the sociological ideas of Weber, Durkheim, and Marx, this book depicts how young activists broke the fifties mold, little aware that many of their ideals would be echoed in the Port Huron Statement just a year later, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement subsequently, many important sixties protests. It is also a vivid portrait of how the ’50s became the ’60s in America.
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Uprising at Bowling Green: How the Quiet Fifties Became the Political Sixties

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