The Age Of Great Dreams Essay Research

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The Age Of Great Dreams Essay, Research Paper Material covered in The Age of Great Dreams can be drawn from the title; it covers issues that were at the forefront of the 1960’s. The book details American growth after World War 2, civil rights, the Vietnam War, and the organization of students. Unlike other books about the 1960’s, Farber does not focus on a single point, but rather, gives a general overview of major events and movements of the 1960’s. Farber begins by detailing the financial growth of the United States. The conclusion of World War 2 brought great riches to the United States. Soldiers came home and started families, these families lead to the baby boom. Unlike wars in the past, America maintained the level of economic superiority it demonstrated during

the war. Business was alive and flourishing. An abundance of money and goods led to the creation of suburbs. Families fled the big cities for smaller neighborhoods where the goal was to be like everyone else and strive for the easy life as presented by the newly created television. Refrigerators, washers and dryers, automatic dishwashers, television sets, and automobiles were in abundance and affordable for the average family to own. Quickly the suburbs began to take on a similar look; individuality was on the decrease, while conformity was on the rise. While the whites of the north enjoyed a golden age, the blacks of the south were still fighting for their freedom. African-Americans in the United States had their freedom but they were fighting separatist’s attitudes.

Segregation was a normal part of life in the south. Blacks had their own schools, neighborhoods, churches, they were not permitted on the premises of all white facilities, nor could they even share the same part of a bus with whites. The blacks had their freedom, but they were not free. Rising out of the racism were several African-American groups. The largest and most influential was the NAACP (Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People). With Martin Luther King Jr. as their voice, “Black power” came of age and the struggle for equality would finally come to the American forefront. Two distinct ways of working towards equality arose; King’s peaceful demonstrating voice and the violent protests that often led to riots of the SNCC. King believed in organization

and a unified voice where as the SNCC sought immediate gratification through loud disorganized demonstrations. Major cities of the United States erupted with riots that led to property damage as well as to the loss of life. Regardless of how it was sought, equality and civil rights for African-Americans was gaining the nation’s attention. Through demonstrations, votes, headlines, speeches, and bloodshed a race of people achieved what they were striving for, equality. Though it would take several more years to be fully accepted, African-Americans had finally won their freedom. Desegregation allowed for the education of all children under one roof, shared facilities, political policies fair to all races, a political voice, and most importantly, self-respect. The leading event of

the decade was the Vietnam War. The United States refused to let Vietnam fall to communism. A civil war that had been going on since 1946 was drawing American soldiers into battle. Once a necessary war, in the eyes of politicians and the American public, was fast becoming an unpopular war with the American public, particularly with students. Politicians viewed Vietnam as the stepping stone for Communism to sweep through South West Asia (Indochina). Vietnam was the first domino in a chain, if fallen, would topple the other dominoes allowing Communism to sweep through the region. The American government escalated the military’s involvement in the conflict. The main goal being the thwarting of the Communist regime led by Ho Chi Minh. The original goal was to establish two separate