enduring classics -- "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov and "Doctor
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Americana, c. 1958: Birth of the '60s
By J. Peder Zane, Staff Writer
The 1960s was an era of icons -- none more famous than the Beatles and the peace sign.
Yet those generational signposts were not conceived during the frenzied days of protest and free love but in the seemingly sleepy year of 1958. That's when George Harrison began making music with John Lennon and Paul McCartney and designer Gerald Holtom created his famous symbol in support of nuclear disarmament.
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Perhaps the most we can say of these contradictory signals is that Americans are a diverse people with various tastes. How else can we explain that in 1958 they made bestsellers of two enduring classics -- "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov and "Doctor Zhivago" by Boris Pasternak -- as well as many forgotten titles, such as "Twixt Twelve and Twenty" by Pat Boone and "Masters of Deceit" by J. Edgar Hoover (not an autobiography).
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Such events bring to mind the old saying that history is just one darn thing after another. As 1958 shows, it is and isn't.
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