My research, how it began and what I discovered
In 1995, my mother found a cache of letters that I had written during my college years. Among them were what amounted to a 50-page, typed single-spaced “diary,” all written on crackling thin onion skin stationery or aerograms, that I had sent to my parents from Europe in 1968. Re-reading those letters, my interest re-ignited in the American civil rights and anti-war movements and concurrent European protests. I obtained my alumni library card from UC Berkeley, scoured newspaper and magazine clippings on microfiche, and haunted libraries and antiquarian bookstores, often the only source for out-of-print materials. My research discoveries included the pamphlets, brochures, monographs and journals displayed by radical tablers from Sproul Plaza to the Sorbonne Courtyard. By the new millennium, the Internet became a tremendous addition to my sources. Finally, after sending my grown children on “missions” during their post-college European trips, to seek answers to specific questions, I was able to conduct my own investigations in Prague (1999) and Paris (2000 and 2004).
Below is a partial list – selected readings that I would recommend if you would like to pursue the subject. If you would like a more complete bibliography, please email me at elisefmiller68 at gmail dot com.
Although I found many nonfiction accounts of events, there was little fiction (noted below in bold type). The enlightenment and freedom of following fictional characters, especially the very young characters known to be involved in the events of their day, was missing. Ferlinghetti, Jones, Neville, Kundera, and later Roth—all producing wonderful fictional accounts—featured the point of view of characters well beyond their college years.
Note: Fiction readings are in bold.
The United States in 1968
Chepesiuk, Ron, Sixties Radicals, Then and Now, 1995.
DeBenedetti, Charles, An American Ordeal, the Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era, Syracuse University Press, 1990.
Hoffman, Abbie, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture, 1980.
Kurlansky, Mark, 1968, The Year that Rocked the World, 2005.
Rorabaugh, W.J., Berkeley at War, The 1960s, New York, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Roth, Philip, American Pastoral, 1997.
The Tales of Hoffman, Edited from the official transcript by Mark L. Levine, George C. McNamee and Daniel Greenberg, 1970
France in 1968
Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris.
Alistair Horne, La Belle France, A Short History.
CAW, Magazine of Students for A Democratic Society, No. 3 Fall Issue, Devoted to the Battle of France, 1968.
Feenberg, Andrew and Freedman, Jim, When Poetry Ruled the Streets, The French May Events of 1968, State University of New York Press, 2001.
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence, Love in the Days of Rage, 1988.
Jean, Holly, May 1968: How the people brought an industrialized nation to a halt, why you haven’t heard about it and why you should..., 2005 .
Jones, James, The Merry Month of May, 1970.
Kirsch, Robert, Essay: “Paris Students Topple Ivory Tower,” May, 1968.
Neville, Jill, The Love Germ, 1969.
Protest in Paris 1968: Photographs by Serge Hambourg, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 2006).
Ross, Kristin, May ’68 and It s Afterlives, 2002.
Schultz, Jim, ’68 web, email@example.com.
Singer, Daniel, Prelude to Revolution, France in May 1968, N.Y., Hill and Wang, 1970.
Spender, Stephen, The Year of the Young Rebels, 1968; Journals, The Thirties and After.
The French Student Revolt, The Leaders Speak, presented by Hervé Bourges, 1968.
Czechoslovakia in 1968
Kundera, Milan, Life is Elsewhere, 1973. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1968.
Schwartz, Harry, Prague’s 200 Days, The Struggle for Democracy in Czechoslovakia, New York, Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1969. SDSU Library, DB 215.6, S33.
Zeman, Z.A.B., Prague Spring, New York, Hill and Wang, 1969. SDSU Library, DB 215.6, Z4 1969.