Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)


Townsley, Eleanor. “’The Sixties’ Trope.” in



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Townsley, Eleanor. “’The Sixties’ Trope.” in Theory, Culture and Society, 18 (2001), 99-123. (24)
To this day an overwhelming controversy rages in the American psyche revolving around the greatness, or so-called, of the nineteen-sixties. As Townsley explores in her piece, “’The Sixties’ Trope”, this controversy remains so controversial because the modern day politics at play between liberals and conservatives are deeply reminiscent of party war in the sixties. This “trope”, as she explains, is a figurative use of words implemented to organize the understanding of contemporary politics and society.188 The ideal of the trope is, ultimately, the set of beliefs and revolutions which the public collectives associates with the decade, creating, often times, a false sense of romanticism or nostalgia without playing out the facts of the times. A primary interest in this decade revolves around the fact that the general public often would rather not acknowledge the revolutions, social experiments, and political plays which occurred because it funds a modern day clash of ideals and the somewhat failure of many programs and safety-nets placed during this period.189 Though Townsley’s piece deals primarily in political and legislative failure and hope, the trope of the sixties is present in all revolutions of the time and follow us to today as we enter a world built upon them, but also continuously building on them. Ultimately the societal implications of this trope are ringing through generations and impacting contemporary political discourse.



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