Student Power, Democracy and Revolution in the Sixties
This book uses humour and personal insight to weave tales, analysis, and history in this insider account of an enlightened populist student movement. The students involved took their citizenship seriously by asking the authorities who they were benefiting and who they were ignoring. They altered the prevailing culture by asking, “why not do something different”?
Unlike other books on the Sixties, this book shows how predominantly working middle-class white students in a very conservative region initiated radical changes. They ushered in a new era of protecting women and minorities from discriminatory practices. This vivid account of bringing conservative students around to support social justice projects illustrates how step-by-step democratic change results in reshaping a nation’s character.
Across the globe, students are seeking change. In the US, over 80 percent believe they have the power to change the country, and 60 percent think they’re part of that movement. This book’s portrayal of such efforts in the Sixties will inspire and guide those students.
Nick Licata was a Seattle City Council member for 18 years, before becoming Council President. The Nation named him Progressive Municipal Official of the Year, while Seattle Weekly named him Best Local Politician. He wrote the legislation establishing paid sick leave and a $15 minimum wage for all employees in the city. He holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Washington and has been a Guest Lecturer at many universities. He was the founding Board Chair of Local Progress, a national network of over 1,000 urban elected officials, and served on the board of National Municipal Democrat Officials. His publications include Becoming a Citizen Activist, which won the Gold Medal for Social Activism, and his newsletter Citizenship Politics, covering political and social issues, has 10,000 national subscribers, with over 70 percent of them teaching political science or sociology in 262 universities and colleges located in all 50 states.
"Student Power reveals how the political culture of the Sixties asked, “why not do something different?”, [a question that] opened new ideas that have shaped this nation ever since."
Katrina vanden Heuvel Former editor of The Nation
"There is no more engaging read to know how ‘60s campus protests felt to participants ‘on the ground’."
Paul Lauter Past President of the American Studies Association.
"Student Power sizzles with the freshness of a first-person account of navigating through the pitfalls of the far left and far right."
Harry Boyte Senior Scholar of Public Work Philosophy at Augsburg University, USA
"Licata reveals a rare inside view of students from America’s most conservative regions successfully challenging a culture of accepting authority without questioning who benefits."
Thom Hartmann Talk radio host; New York Times bestselling author
"This account of the author’s political awakening and actions is structured into 40 short chapters, small vignettes that describe, step by step, the small-town university and the development of both students’ activism and engagement and his own role in it. The chapters cover not just the roots and local causes of the emergent "student power" at Bowling Green State University but also the larger context and political and cultural themes of the time. This book is highly recommended for everyone interested in the history of student protest and engagement in the 1960, primarily in the US but also in other Western, democratic countries which experienced student activism. It is more than a historical case study of conditions and developments at American higher education institutions some 50 years ago – it is kind of a how-to handbook for initiating and bringing about organizational change in academic institutions."
Hans Schuetze Professor Emeritus of the University of British Columbia, Canada
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