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In praise of decadence

Author: Jeff Riggenbach
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1998.
Edition/Format:   Book : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The legendary 1960s were the seedbed for many of the social changes evident all around us today. In this book, Jeff Riggenbach takes a long, hard look at that fabulous decade and sees something a bit different from anything anyone has ever seen there before. The members of the sixties generation, he argues, were never devoted to left-wing or progressive ideals in the first place - so, contrary to conventional
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jeff Riggenbach
ISBN: 1573922463 9781573922463
OCLC Number: 39606727
Description: 213 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Pt. 1. In Praise of Decadence. 1. The Legacy of the Sixties. 2. The Baby Boomers. 3. Left, Right, or Libertarian? 4. Anarchists and Minarchists. 5. The American Libertarian Tradition. 6. Origins of the Modern Libertarian Movement. 7. Who Was Ayn Rand? 8. The Modern Movement Comes Together. 9. The Nonvoters. 10. Neither Left Nor Right. 11. Who Is R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.? or The Ersatz Mencken of the American Right. 12. The Other Youth Rebellion of the 1960s. 13. The Decay of Authority --
Pt. 2. The Shape of Things to Come. 14. Degeneration Revisited. 15. All in the Family. 16. The Deaths and Lives of Great American Cities. 17. The Crisis of Civility. 18. A Tale of Three Decades.
Responsibility: Jeff Riggenbach.

Abstract:

The legendary 1960s were the seedbed for many of the social changes evident all around us today. In this book, Jeff Riggenbach takes a long, hard look at that fabulous decade and sees something a bit different from anything anyone has ever seen there before. The members of the sixties generation, he argues, were never devoted to left-wing or progressive ideals in the first place - so, contrary to conventional liberal and conservative wisdom, they never had to fall away from any such ideals in order to wallow in the self-actualizing, acquisitive seventies, eighties, and nineties.

Politically, the members of the sixties generation - the famed "baby boomers" - have always been more libertarian than anyone expected. In the end, he maintains, the sixties was a seminal decade because it ushered in a period of spreading and deepening cultural decadence which still shows no sign of abating.

It is easy to find fault with the turbulent sixties in America, and many do - focusing on such themes as free love and the decline of the family, racial unrest and the crisis of the cities, and the virtual disappearance of civility in the public square. Yet, Riggenbach contends, after a detailed examination of the critics' arguments on these issues, that while decadence does have its downside - it has made our society a ruder and cruder one in many ways - it has also enriched us beyond our wildest dreams and has given us much more to be thankful for than to lament.

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