A War for the Soul of America

Lecture Description

This lecture, based on my 2015 book, is about the history of the culture wars, that dramatic struggle which pitted liberal, progressive, and secular Americans against their conservative, traditional, and religious counterparts, and that captured the attention of the nation during the 1980s and 1990s. The history of the culture wars, often misremembered as merely one angry shouting match after another, offers insight into the genuine transformation to American political culture that happened during the tumultuous decade known as the “sixties.” Prior to the sixties, a cluster of powerful conservative norms set the parameters of American culture, particularly in terms of racial and gender identities. But the sixties gave birth to a new America, a nation more open to new peoples, new ideas, new norms, new identities, and new, if conflicting, articulations of America itself. In this way, the sixties ushered in the culture wars.


Social and Cultural The 1960s

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