Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The 60s: The Story of a Decade” as Want to Read:
The 60s: The Story of a Decade
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The 60s: The Story of a Decade

(The Story of a Decade #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The third installment of a fascinating decade-by-decade series, this anthology collects historic New Yorker pieces from the most tumultuous years of the twentieth century including work by James Baldwin, Pauline Kael, Sylvia Plath, Roger Angell, Muriel Spark, and John Updike alongside new assessments of the 1960s by some of today s finest writers.

Here are real-time accoun
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Random House
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The 60s, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The 60s

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  147 ratings  ·  38 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The 60s: The Story of a Decade
Bethan Watson
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This book is the third instalment of a decade-by-decade series. It is a collection of pieces from the New Yorker from the most joyous years of the twentieth century. Some of the most important events in history happened in the 1960’s, including Kennedy’s assassination, the murder of Martin Luther King and Jonathan Schell travels with American troops to Vietnam. Most importantly for me, in the March of 1965, my Father was born. This is why I have taken such an interest in finding out what life wa ...more
Carol Storm
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reading the New Yorker to find out what happened in the Sixties is like interviewing Marie Antoinette to learn about the French Revolution. There are some worthwhile pieces here (Pauline Kael's brilliant takedown of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid") but the premise is false. The New Yorker has never been and never will be a magazine that promotes genuine social change. It's a magazine for rich white people on the Upper West Side who like to think that they're hipper and more humane than the ...more
Brian Eshleman
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm amazed an editorial staff consisting of different people can navigate different times with a collective voice that is never either trendy or condescending. This is especially true given how shocking the 60s must have been for some of the magazines more hidebound readership.

If you read the New Yorker now for a reflective take on our times and have any interest in the 60s, I would recommend it. Sometimes the magazine manages to see change coming in thought-provoking ways. Other times, it seems
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Did not know it was an anthology. I'm not a fan of essays and short stories usually. There were some good ideas contained in this collection, but I was looking forward to a review of the decade. ...more
David Corleto-Bales
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
The editors of The New Yorker gleaned their magazine's pages from the decade of the 1960s to find some of the decade's best writing, everything from journalism and fiction to poetry. I skipped the latter two and focused on the typically brilliant New Yorker non-fiction articles by everyone from E.B. White and Truman Capote to Hannah Arendt. Covered topics included Nigeria's independence celebration in 1960, the Cuba Missile Crisis, the murders of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, Jr., an exce ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
These collections are always first rate. Just a wonderful collection for each decade.

In this collection the first section is titled " Reckonings " and includes excerpts of some of the most famous, groundbreaking work ever produced in the magazine in any decade, not just the sixties.

Beginning with Silent Spring, an essay which many attribute as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. I, myself, have just recently read the entire three part essay. It is breathtakingly prescient. It s
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another eclectic and intriguing collection from the New Yorker – this time it’s the 60s in focus, so that means so many iconic names are represented here, from Rachel Carson with Silent Spring to Hannah Arendt with Eichmann in Jerusalem. Brief Encounters feature Twiggy to Tom Stoppard, there’s poetry from Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, a review of Portnoy’s Complaint and fiction from John Cheever – amongst many many others. Helpful and illuminating comment from contemporary New Yorker ...more
Craig Werner
Jun 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sixties
Your response to this will depend on two things: 1) your feelings about the New Yorker and its house style--the use of the editorial "we", the ideological commitment to mainstream liberalism; the cool, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor; and 2) what you're reading the book for. If you're looking for a history of the Sixties, this isn't it, but that's embedded in the fact that it's an anthology of journalism written at the time. That creates some fascinating reading experiences since the writers ...more
Chris DiLeo
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As with The 50's collection of The New Yorker pieces, this collection offers an authentic (though, of course slanted) take on the Sixties from the actual time period.

The best pieces are "In Cold Blood: The Corner" by Truman Capote; "The Price of Peace is Confusion" by Renata Adler; "Lull" by Charlayne Hunter; "Views of a Death" by Jonathan Miller; "Notes and Comments (The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.) by Jacob Brackman and Terrence Malick; and "A&P" by John Updike.

Some of it is very
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Hodge-Podge View of the 1960s …

This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free copy of the book.

Having been born in 1966, I honestly can’t say I “experienced” the 60s and maybe that was the reason I had difficulty identifying with “The New Yorker’s” take on the decade. While THE 60’S: THE STORY OF A DECADE offers some tasty tidbits of journalism authored by a host of American icons, I felt the overall selection of stories chosen could have better represented the tur
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The New Yorker's third entry in this decade-by-decade review of the magazine's best writing, The 60s takes a somewhat serious tone. My own recollection of the 60s is as a child, so the political upheaval, student unrest, and racial tension was a slightly unsettling hum in the background of my watching Captain Kangaroo and playing with Spirograph. My memory of the JFK assassination was that all the grownups were so upset and then so sad. So reading this anthology fills in some blanks from the era ...more
Jan 13, 2017 added it
I didn't read every essay in this collection, but finally, I read "Silent Spring", the essay that began the environmental movement, by Rachel Carson. I read "Eichmann in Jerusalem", at last, and can now delve further into Hannah Arendt's explorations of that compelling need of humanity for totalitarianism. After exploring cultural events like Woodstock, The March on Washington, Bob Dylan, The 1969 Mets, or The Beatles, in many other ways over the years, The New Yorker articles here were fresh pe ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The editors of The New Yorker have done a tremendous job of creating a series of books encapsulating each decade, based on the contents of the weekly magazine during each. While I haven't read "The 40s", or "The 50s", this book on the 1960s is truly fabulous, filled with the giants of the age, giving us a beautiful, harrowing time capsule (or time machine) to these tumultuous times. At almost 700 pages thick, this is a veritable trove. Endemic racism, police brutality, immoral wars, the galvaniz ...more
Dan Pasquini
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some incredible, iconic stories (of course) which help fill out the picture of the '60s, so much of which has been lost to time and stereotype.

Many of the pieces are abridged -- some were nearly book-length themselves; without making edits this collection would easily be 1,000 pages. Most of the edits are done well but a few stories are shorn of context. On others, like "The Put-On," so much gold is left behind. And one could have done with more from Pauline Kael and Ellen Willis. But that's wh
This is a wonderful collection of essays, installments, short stories, and poetry that appeared in the The New Yorker in the 1960's. It provides interesting and provocative perspectives of that era. I found the article about Arthur Ashe's US Open win over Clark Graebner particularly compelling, especially as it detailed, without much recognition, the more casual racism of that time. The article on Woodstock, written without historical distance, was also interesting. ...more
Susan Csoke
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The 1960's was the most tumultuous decade of the twentieth century. Included are historic writings from The New Yorker. Real time accounts of the integration of Southern universities, the Kennedy assassination, American troops in Vietnam, the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., the soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and much more. A fabulous informative, coffee table book!!!!! ...more
Debi Hagberg
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I grew up in the 60's so was excited to win this book in Goodreads giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was broken down into chapters labeled with the occurrence so it could be a book read from jumping around and not having to read front to back. Nicely written, it brought back many memories, some good, some really bad! ...more
Oct 05, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
Thank you Goodreads for selecting me as a lucky winner of this anthology in the First Reads program!

I look forward to reading it!
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a quick and enjoyable read and I have passed it on to my 14 year old son in the hopes that this history will be remembered correctly.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reading this book was like going back to my childhood and then young adult I especially liked the music books
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another excellent book; read it selectively and it brought back memories of my 1960s.
Linda Henry
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have already started reading this book, and am looking for to reading again at a deeper level since I was born in 1961.
I also think I might want to get the other 2 books in this series
Kelly Camui
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I skipped critics and fiction, but otherwise good
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow my review on this book ran out of room, it does not look like 20 thousand words to me. But, I didn't count. the paperback version sits to hold the rest of my review.

Continuing under Part Five New Arrivals in the " Brief Encounters section from the previous review we begin a brief report on Joan Baez and a non violent movement station she is hosting. A bit longer piece on Twiggy gives a glimpse of the importance in the moment of the skinny model who really changed the way we loo
Brian Hutzell
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Any songwriter would be proud to pen what could be considered a classic song—one that was guaranteed to survive the test of time. Bob Dylan has accomplished this multiple times. Recently, he was able to add “Nobel Laureate” to his resume. But Dylan has never taken himself as seriously as has the press writing about him. At least I hope not. If he does, then he is ridiculous.

This brings up one of the problems of the 1960s: It is often hard to know who is putting on whom. [Artist Andy Warhol and c
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The 60s is the third installment of decade overview collections from The New Yorker. This installment contains a wide range of nonfiction articles, reviews, fiction and poetry from the 1960s. Topics vary and include the civil right movement, the counterculture, music festivals, Vietnam, computers and much more.

Overall, this is a great collection that explores all of the topics that made the 1960s still a huge talking point today. Getting more specific, some of the articles are a bit long-winded
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series (The 40s, The 50s, The 60s) has been amazing. The opportunity to get perspective on an entire decade of emerging art and culture through the New Yorker's published articles, fiction and poetry, is wonderful. Following my reading of the earlier books in the series, I like to pick out one or two examples from the fiction or poetry to use as inspiration for a story or poem of my own. It has helped me discover important and engaging writers from the past, and to understand how American l ...more
Onur Sazak
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who is interested in learning about a decade that ushered in the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today and that broadened our horizon in arts, science, technology, philosophy, and humanities will never find a more comprehensive work than this vast compilation of New Yorker articles on the breakthroughs of the 60s
Grindy Stone
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of these New Yorker anthologies, but this one really knocks it out of the park. The 1960s were eventful, of course, and it seems that for every big movement or event of the decade the New Yorker was there. Civil rights, Vietnam, Bob Dylan, the Amazin' Mets, Allen Ginsberg, Marshall McLuhan - wonderful essays on all. Highly recommended. ...more
Karl Ocampo
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
As much as I love The New Yorker, I found the curation of the stories in this book too high-brow. Still, I’m glad I picked this up because it introduced me to Pauline Kael – easily the best film critic I’ve read. I also enjoyed several pieces written by James Baldwin, Jonathan Miller, Jacob Brackman and Terrence Malick, Flora Lewis, and Lillian Ross just to name a few.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Atomic Love
  • The Lying Life of Adults
  • The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un
  • Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation
  • Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook
  • The Playboy of the West Indies
  • The Wedding Dress
  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
  • Cooking as Fast as I Can: A Chef's Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness
  • Sisters of the Quilt: The Complete Trilogy
  • You Want Fries with That?: A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage
  • The Dancing Girls (Detective Jo Fournier, #1)
  • Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle (The Country Nurse #1)
  • The Midwife's Tale (At Home in Trinity Book #1)
  • The Midwife of Hope River (Hope River #1)
  • How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor
  • If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox
See similar books…
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry published by Condé Nast Publications. Starting as a weekly in the mid-1920s, the magazine is now published forty-seven times per year, with five of these issues covering two-week spans.

Other books in the series

The Story of a Decade (3 books)
  • The 40s: The Story of a Decade
  • The 50s: The Story of a Decade

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
45 likes · 12 comments
“effect, but in the top of the ninth, with the score still 1–0 and the tension at Shea” 0 likes
More quotes…