For the past four decades, the divide in America – call it the culture wars, red-blue or whatever – has been based on clashing views of the 1960s. Republicans have blamed The ’60s for changing America for the worse. Others herald the decade as a liberation from the 1950s. But there was an era in between. “Mad Men” is set in that middle ground of the “Young ’60s,” and its broad appeal points to the possibility of cultural compromise…

As “Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm (who plays Don Draper) has said, “There’s a pretty big sea change that happens at a certain point in society, and I think that the reason “Mad Men” has been so successful is that it lives in this transitory period of the ’60s.” That Young ’60s deserves far more attention, and “Mad Men” is to be commended for bringing it back into our consciousness. And, just maybe, a focus on that period between the extremes of the highly fictionalized ’50s and the greatly exaggerated later ’60s – the Ficties and the Sicksties – could help us to reach an armistice in the red-blue culture wars.