When I was writing my book on the history of American political debate and change - The Progressive Revolution: How The Best In America Came To Be - in 2008, I was doing some research on the sequence of events in the 1960s, I was struck by the fact that so many big things happened so close together. As I wrote in my book:
"The civil rights movement inspired other progressives not only to help in the civil rights cause but also to come together around a range of other issues and constituencies. A renewed wave of feminism was sparked in great part by Betty Friedan's influential book The Feminine Mystique. The environmental movement gained broad public appeal when Rachel Carson's Silent Spring became a best seller. Students began to organize themselves. The Port Huron statement, written by Tom Hayden and others, prompted young people to get involved in politics through the student and antiwar movements. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was founded. Cesar Chavez used many of King's organizing tactics, as well as new ones of his own, to unionize farm workers in the agricultural fields of California. And as the 1960s wore on, progressives of all stripes looked with growing concern at the Vietnam War and began to protest in earnest against it.