Impossible to Hold: Women and Culture in the 1960's

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NYU Press, Feb 1, 2005 - History - 342 pages
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With Jackie in a pill-box hat and Marilyn crooning to the president, the 1960s opened with women hovering at the fringes of the public imagination—and ended with a feminist movement that outpaced anything NASA could concoct. A compelling story, but did it really happen that way?

Unlike many accounts of the era, Impossible to Hold revels in the complexities of female identity and American culture. The collection's sixteen original essays move beyond conventional discussions of hippie chicks and Weatherwomen to examine the diverse lives of women who helped to shape religion, sports, literature, and music, among other aspects of the cultural hodgepodge known as the sixties.

From familiar names like Yoko Ono, Carole King, and Joan Baez to lesser-known figures like Anita Caspary and Barbara Deming, the women revealed in Impossible to Hold represent a variety of points on the celebrity and feminist spectrums. The book traces women who sought to break into “male” fields, women whose personae and work link the radical sixties to earlier cultural traditions, and those who consciously confronted power structures and demanded change. Separately and together, their cultural work informed the sixties and their biographies offer a lucid and complex picture of that proverbial “long decade.”

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About the author (2005)

Avital H. Bloch is research professor at the Center for Social Research, University of Colima, Mexico. and author of "Politics, Political Thought, and Historiography in the Contemporary United States.

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