The Saeculum Decoded
A Blog by Neil Howe
Sep 292009
 

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary Dies at 72

Wow. This is a milestone. So many of us who became teenagers in the early 60s were really into the whole folk revival—and Peter, Paul, and Mary was absolutely the dominant public image of that revival.

They took the progressive G.I. (born 1901-1924) folk movement (The WeaversWoodie GuthriePete Seeger et al.) and culturally radicalized it so that it hit the sweet spot for first-wave Boomer (born 1943-1960). But they were also basically mild mannered—never extreme, unpleasant, or confrontational. Their harmonies were never atonal. They were the most popular “beatniks” ever to perform for the public. The bio points out another Silent (born 1925-1942)  dimension to her life story: four marriages.

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  • Matthew

    Hi Neil-
    I was wondering if ALL G.I.s were hated by Boomers during the Awakening. Were there any G.I.s in politics or culture that were actually popular with young Boomers? Can you think of any G.I.s who definately did NOT fit their generation's wholesome image? This issue is important to me as a Millennial who does not feel comfotable in the Hero role.

  • Lots of Boomers admired and followed many G.I. leaders and celebrities.  Typically of course these G.I.s were a bit unlike most of their peers.  There were high-energy progressive leaders like Sargent Shriver (founder of the Peace Corps, Vista, leader of the “war on poverty”) or George McGovern (very liberal Democratic candidate for President in ’72).  Then there were the completely off-beat “suppressed” types, who appealed to “countercultural” Boomers precisely because they were so completely out of place in their own generation: Jack Kerouac, for example, or Timothy Leary.  Every generation includes vast numbers of people and a vast range of personalities.  There will always be a place for you. –NEIL

  • Lots of Boomers admired and followed many G.I. leaders and celebrities.  Typically of course these G.I.s were a bit unlike most of their peers.  There were high-energy progressive leaders like Sargent Shriver (founder of the Peace Corps, Vista, leader of the “war on poverty”) or George McGovern (very liberal Democratic candidate for President in ’72).  Then there were the completely off-beat “suppressed” types, who appealed to “countercultural” Boomers precisely because they were so completely out of place in their own generation: Jack Kerouac, for example, or Timothy Leary.  Every generation includes vast numbers of people and a vast range of personalities.  There will always be a place for you. –NEIL