Acclaimed national security columnistand noted cultural criticFred Kaplan looks past the 1960s to the year that really changed America Conventional historical wisdom focuses on the sixties as the era of pivotal change that swept the nation, yet, as Fred Kaplan argues, it was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political, and scientific shifts that would play out in the turbulent decades that followed. Pop culture exploded in upheaval with the rise of artists like Jasper Johns, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, and Miles Davis. Court rulings unshackled previously banned books. Political power broadened with the onset of Civil Rights laws and protests. The sexual and feminist revolutions took their first steps with the birth control pill. America entered the war in Vietnam, and a new style in superpower diplomacy took hold. The invention of the microchip launched the Computer Age, and the Space Race put a new twist on the frontier myth. Drawing fascinating parallels between the country in 1959 and today, exactly 50 years later, Kaplan offers a smart, cogent, and deeply researched new take on a vital, overlooked period in American history. Fred Kaplan (Brooklyn, NY) writes the War Stories column in Slate, contributes frequently to the New York Times' Arts ; Leisure section, and covers jazz for Stereophile. He has also written for the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, and other publications. He is a former Pulitzer Prize winning Boston Globe reporter who covered the Pentagon and post-Soviet Moscow. He is the author of Daydream Believers (978-0-470-12118-4).