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Following Our Bliss: How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today Paperback – August 31, 2004
"Roots" by Alex Haley
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Lattin’s book is a fascinating, provocative and ultimately upbeat journey.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“[Lattin’s] book seeks to stand up for the ‘60s, without giving it a free pass.” (Nashville Tennessean)
“Lattin ... captures the double vision of religion, always looking forward and backward at the same time.” (Washington Post)
“Much terrific reporting, captivating storytelling, and enjoyable reading... a worthwhile, thought-provoking work.” (Yoga Journal)
“A wise and witty examination.” (Detroit Free Press)
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Top Customer Reviews
The historical aspect of it, along with some courageous personal reactions, make it read like someone telling a good, funny, and bizarre story. It's hard to believe some of this stuff really happened, but even if I was sometimes horrified and sometimes profoundly moved, it's nice to know that life doesn't always go according to plan. As one example, the Chapter on the Moonies tells a very strange, and in some ways tragic, tale of Reverend Moon and his establishing a base in the U.S. At the same time, the author talks about the middle ground where people as obviously crazy as Moon aren't always quite skewed as it first appears.
I didn't finish the book feeling that he's pushed his own value system, but rather that he's given me the background and information I need to really understand those times and their legacy better. On top of that, it's a great read.
I’d say the brightest spot is the final chapter, which does an outstanding job taking all the previous work and summarizing the wide scale religious trends (both good and bad) of the decade. It could stand by itself as a very perceptive essay in the likes of Harper's or the Atlantic.
Other bright spots were the origins of Esalen, the turmoil of the Catholic Church and the narratives of those who grew up in communes. These chapters were insightful and touching. I didn’t really find much interest in the parts about the New Age movement because they focused on a few key players instead of the overarching theological or sociological trends.
The book was originally published in 2003 so has about 13 years of catching up to do. I’d love to see a future essay and analysis by Lattin on the Pew-documented rapid secularization of the American populace for it would be interesting to see from him how that relates to trends outlined in this book. Also, many of the socially progressive goals that were rooted in the 1960s have become increasingly more established (rights of minorities, reproductive health, marriage rights, etc.) and it would be interesting to hear his take on that. I found myself a few times in the book thinking, “That is no longer true,” “the Supreme Court just settled that one” and “People don’t argue about that anymore.”
Either way, it is a bit dated but a great book. The story he traces, though, is not over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An insightful look into new religious movements. A great read for anyone interested in 60's religious history or for your theology professor!Published on December 21, 2013 by Margaret Donohue
I purchased this book for school and it came in perfect condition in an acceptable amount of time, I was very happy with the order.Published on February 14, 2010 by Elizabeth