Before our Time
A Theory of the Sixties From a Religious, Social and Psychological Perspective
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of Pages: 266
Width: 13.6 cm
Height: 21.4 cm
This book takes a unique look at the sixties by linking narcissism in American culture to secularization. The author argues that this connection is related to the Vietnam War and the series of traumas which shook America during this period. The author focuses on the religious decline among the mainline Christian denominations. Idema looks at many of the shared experiences of the Baby Boomers—from their music, to the sexual revolution, to films, to television, to their childhood lives of the 1950s (with particular focus on the significance of Elvis Presley). Borrowing from psychoanalysis, Idema creates a theory of cultural change, and the shared experience of this generation lies at the heart of this theory. Idema argues that the mainliners, especially those among the Baby Boomers, were poorly equipped—morally, psychologically, spiritually, and intellectually—to face and then master, traumas. This probing study will show readers that the religious experience is an important part of the story of the Sixties and that it continues to affect American culture today.
Idema gives a highly personal, idiosyncratic rendering of the youth he remembers.