Defining The 1960’s Through Literary Journalism


This is a final paper I wrote for my Literary Journalism class. This paper summarizes some of the most influential non-fiction novels and how they exposed prevalent themes of the 1960’s, including the shift out of traditional suburban America, exposure of racism, and the fear generated by the Vietnam War. This piece presents the evolution of “New Journalism” and makes an argument as to how modern journalists could benefit from using New Journalism techniques today.

The full graduate article can be downloaded below.

James Baldwin
Allan warren
CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


There are many parallels between 1960’s political culture and what America is experiencing today. By using the techniques written by New Journalists of the 1960s, we can more creatively express our subjects’ viewpoints and emotions.

The Backstory: What I learned about 60’s Literary Journalism

In my Literary Journalism in the 1960’s class, we read seven books written between the years 1959-1972. Those seven books were, in this order: In Cold Blood, The Fire Next Time, Dispatches, The Armies of The Night, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Each book delved further and further into experimental journalism and paved the way for New Journalism. This piece became a commentary on the course and why New Journalism should make a  comeback in modern-day journalism.

Truman Capote
Eric Koch / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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