Ohio University

Renowned historian to speak on America divided in the 1960s and today

Published: October 21, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Distinguished History Prof. David Farber of the University of Kansas will deliver the 42nd annual Costa Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, in Walter Hall Rotunda on the Ohio University, Athens Campus. His topic is: “The End of the 1960s and the Beginning of Today: Radicals, Reactionaries, and Political Pragmatists.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception with refreshments will begin prior to the lecture at 7 p.m.

In his talk, Farber will examine the divisions in America at the end of the 1960s, a time — like today — when the stakes were high and some pathways forward were uncertain or perilous. He will show how Americans, buffeted by the forces of domestic polarization and global challenges, whipsawed between cynicism, indifference and idealism. 

By looking back at those moments when the “Sixties” was ending and a new era was emerging, Farber will place our contemporary predicaments in a useful— perhaps even optimistic — frame of reference.

Farber is an acclaimed expert on 20th-century US history and the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas.  He has written or edited sixteen books, including Chicago ’68; The Age of Great Dreams; The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s; Taken Hostage; The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism; and most recently, Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed.

The lecture is sponsored by the Ohio University Department of History thanks to the generosity of Ohio University alumna Helen Coast Hayes (class of 1926). Previous lecturers include Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Doris Kearns Goodwin and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and noted presidential historian Michael Beschloss.