From Publishers Weekly
Biographer of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and the Beat Movement itself, Miles broadens his scope to the years 1965 through 1971, a time that "really was about sex and drugs and rock n roll." This massive catalog tries to cram it all in, with quotes from groovy personalities (Timothy Leary, John Lennon, Ken Kesey, Wavy Gravy, Abbie Hoffman, Grace Slick, Frank Zappa), posters and album sleeves (Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company), period photographs (antiwar protests, love-ins, mobile communes, Haight-Ashbury), and stray ephemera (a napkin from the Whiskey A Go Go). Musicians take precedence over artists: readers looking for Peter Max or R. Crumb wont even find them in the index. Despite the tremendous assemblage, the volume lacks a coherent organization. The table of contents, divided by years, has no page numbers. A section on the Watts Riots is sandwiched between the Byrds and Leary. More an affectionate scrapbook of the psychedelic moment than a trenchant history of the countercultural movement, this collection will appeal primarily to memorabilia enthusiasts. Over 600 full-color and b/w illustrations.
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The watershed 1960s can be gloriously re-experienced in the pages of this magnificent, oversize volume. The swinging '60s will live forever for the boomers who came of age in that decade; for their parents, who, at the time, felt uncomfortable with the abrupt shifts they observed in values and attitudes (to say nothing of dress); and now for their children, who listen to the rock music of that era and wonder, Was it really all that cool? Miles uses the hippie as a metaphor for the whole cultural experience of the 1960s and its impact on American--no, world
--political and social life. As is so graphically documented here, the hippie was the epitome of the youth culture and very much defined the times. This was the great era of protest; hippies stood outside society, and, from that vantage point, they offered both valid and off-the-wall criticism. This luscious book, its textual accompaniment as spirited as its bounty of dynamic illustrations (including candid photos, album covers, and publicity shots), establishes the wide social boundaries of the movement--from antiwar activities to fashion and music and cinema--and spotlights the individuals most important to the counterculture, from Bob Dylan to Jim Morrison, from Ken Kesey to Abbie Hoffman. And, of course, the new-arrivals-display potential of this book in the public library is rich and varied. Wayne Koestenbaum's biography Andy Warhol
(2001) could be set beside it as collateral reading, as could Bruce Spizer's The Beatles Are Coming!
(2004) and the Autobiography of Martin Luther King
(1998), a collection of King's writings. Also, don't forget to use books and even actual artifacts pertaining to gay liberation, fashions of the time, cinema, and all other aspects of distinctive '60s culture. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved