Essay: WHAT A YEAR!

SOME historians, remarked Arnold Toynbee, hold the view that history "is just one damned thing after another." Himself a believer in orderly historical patterns, Toynbee disapproved of such an outlook. But 1968 seems bent on supporting what he called the "antinomian"* view.

One damned thing after another, indeed; also one tragic, surprising and perplexing thing after another. During the first eight months of 1968, events have moved at the pace of an avant-garde movie edited by a mad cutter. The alarms, the assassinations, the political reversals and the extremist cries have been so overwhelming that even last week's Czechoslovak tragedy may seem...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!