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Whiskey BreakfastMy Swedish Family, My American Life$
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Richard C. Lindberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816646845

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816646845.001.0001

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The Shook-up Generation

The Shook-up Generation

(p.166) 11 The Shook-up Generation
Whiskey Breakfast

Richard C. Lindberg

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author, a first-generation Swedish American, reflects on the rise of juvenile delinquency in Chicago during the mid- to late 1950s. Conservative people in the 1950s were wont to suggest that there was something terribly wrong with children of their generation and the adults who indulged them. Sociologists attributed the alarming rise of forbidden behavior among young people at the time to rock ’n’ roll music, parental indifference, post-World War II restlessness, and too much affluence. The author’s father, Oscar Waldemar Lindberg, fit well in that paradigm. Left to their own devices and with time on their hands, many in the generation to which his half brother Charles belonged drifted into gangs, experimented with drink and sex at an early age, or bebopped to “Rock around the Clock,” the opening stanza of rock ’n’ roll and rebellion. In October 1959 in Skokie, Charles (or Chuck) was charged with the rape of a child (with consent) and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The following year, Charles Lindberg and two older boys were found guilty and sentenced to probation.

Keywords:   juvenile delinquency, Charles Lindberg, Chicago, young people, rock and roll, Oscar Waldemar Lindberg, Skokie, rape

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