Thirty years ago American political life was all relentless, painful, and confounding: the Tet Offensive brought new intensity to the Vietnam War; President Lyndon Johnson would not seek re-election; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated; student protests rocked France; a Soviet invasion ended "socialism with a human face" in Czechoslovakia; the Mexican government massacred scores of peaceful demonstrators; and Richard M. Nixon was elected president. Any one of the events of 1968 bears claim to historical significance. Together they set off shock waves that divided Americans into new and contending categories: hawks and doves, old and young, feminists and chauvinists, straights and hippies, blacks and whites, militants and moderates. As citizens alive to their own time and as reporters responsible for making sense of it, journalists did not stand aside from the conflicts of 1968. In their lives and in their work, they grappled with momentous issues--war, politics, race, and protest.

part I|19 pages


chapter 1|6 pages

The Turning Point That Wasn’t

ByDaniel Hallin

chapter 2|4 pages

Justified Doubts

ByDavid Halberstam

chapter 3|7 pages

Unfortunate Stupidity

ByWinant Sidle

part II|34 pages


chapter 4|8 pages

Reassessing the Winners and Losers

ByJules Witcover

chapter 5|8 pages

Dumping Johnson

ByCurtis Gans

chapter 6|8 pages

Good Copy

ByDan T. Carter

chapter 7|9 pages

Enemas for Elephants

ByRobert Shogan

part III|24 pages


chapter 8|8 pages

The Kerner Legacy

ByPamela Newkirk

chapter 9|6 pages

Goals for the Year 2000 and Beyond

ByLoren Ghiglione

chapter 10|9 pages

Optimism, Pessimism and the Kerner Report

ByRandall Kennedy

part IV|32 pages


chapter 11|6 pages

A Generational Divide at Columbia

ByRobert Friedman

chapter 12|8 pages

A New Birth in France

ByClaude-Jean Bertrand

chapter 13|10 pages

The Czech Press—Fighting for Change

ByMadeleine K. Albright

chapter 14|7 pages

The Nightmare of Tlatelolco

ByRaymundo Riva Palacio

part V|46 pages

Cultures, 1968 and 1998

chapter 15|8 pages

The Transformation of Time Magazine

ByJames L. Baughman

chapter 16|6 pages

The Best of Times

ByRichard Reeves

chapter 17|8 pages

Climbing Down from Olympus

ByAndrew Tyndall

chapter 18|8 pages

Finding Ourselves in the New Journalism

ByJohn J. Pauly

chapter 19|6 pages

An Unexpected Aeration

ByTodd Gitlin

chapter 20|9 pages

From Underground to Alternative

ByAbe Peck

part VI|9 pages

1968 in Books

chapter 21|8 pages

Heresies of Liberalism

ByGodfrey Hodgson