6 Must-Haves for a Cultural Revolution

Something big has come to New York! The 60s: The Years that Changed America is a citywide,  eight month-long festival that marks a watershed decade in America’s history. The next time you visit the Shop (The New York Public Library Shop, located inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street), be sure to see the Library’s exhibit You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the 60s. 

Discover the counterculture of this pivotal era—from communal living and forays into expanded consciousness, to tensions around race, politics, feminism, sexuality, and the environment. Items on display, drawn exclusively from the Library’s collections, include footage of the 1969 Woodstock Festival and posters used in protest against the Vietnam War.

To celebrate the counterculture festival, the Shop has all the perfect gifts to ensure you’re completely prepared!

1. A tote for all of your revolution gear

The Shop is excited to unveil our newest tote, commemorating the You Say You Want a Revolution exhibit. This groovy, colorful bag is covered in images of buttons and pins from the counterculture era, like “Give peace a chance” and “All you need is love.”

Get yours here!

2. A story for feminists of all ages

She likes both pink and blue! Meet the unstoppable Feminist Baby in this refreshing, rhyming board book about a girl who's not afraid to choose her own clothes and do her own thing—making as much noise as possible along the way! For all humans, ages 2 and up.

Follow her feminist adventures!

3. A tote with a straightforward message

Less is more! This tote’s design is for the minimalist feminist: emblazoned with the title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s timely essay, "We Should All Be Feminists" on one side, and NYPL on the reverse. Simple, no frills, powerful.

Tote it here!

4. A beautiful ring with a reminder

“The future depends on what you do today.” Mahatma Gandhi knew it, and so did the activists of the 1960s and beyond. Hand-forged, lightweight, and very comfortable, this coiled ring fits sizes 4-9. Chocolate and Steel handcrafts their jewelry in a solar-powered studio in Southern California and are committed to sustainable modern design that embodies a cheerful, adventurous spirit. Available in sterling silver and gold.

Get your ring here!

5. A can-do puzzle

Featuring The New Yorker cover art by Abigail Gray Swartz, this puzzle will let you assemble a modernized Rosie the Riveter poster. This take on a classic World War II poster features a woman of color posed just like Rosie, wearing the iconic pink hat of the Women’s March.

Get your puzzle on!

6. Required reading for counterculture

Ready to add more books to your to-be-read stack? Cozy up in your reading nook with literature from the counterculture:

  • Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion (1968). A nonfiction portrait of America―particularly California―in the 60s. Didion focuses on such subjects as growing up a girl in California, the nature of good and evil, and the essence of the “Summer of Love” in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.

  • The Portable Sixties Reader, edited by Ann Charters. This thorough volume is broken up into thematic chapters, covering the myriad movements of the decade: civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, free speech, counterculture, drugs, the movement into inner space, the Beats and other fringe literature, Black arts, the Women’s movement, and the environmental movement.

  • The 60s: The Story of a Decade, featuring real-time accounts of these years of turmoil. The assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., American troops in the jungles of Vietnam, and the Six-Day War are all brought to immediate and profound life in these pages.

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You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the 60s is on view in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building’s D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall through September 1, 2018.

Other ways to celebrate counterculture:

Artifacts of Change through April 29 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

Power in Print through March 31 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


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