A Decade of Contrasts.
The 1960s were years of enormous contrasts in American politics. President John F. Kennedy's challenge to "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country" at his inauguration in January 1961 ushered in a new decade of activism with consequences neither he nor anyone else at that time could foresee. Young idealists flocked to join the Peace Corps and VISTA—for government service to the needy overseas and at home. Others, believing that America could indeed be a land of equal opportunity, joined the civil rights movement and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Yet as the decade progressed, optimism gave way to anger and pessimism.
Violence and Disillusionment.
The assassinations of President Kennedy in November 1963; civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in April 1968; and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's brother, a few months later made...
(The entire page is 1632 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE