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The Hippie Dictionary Paperback – June 1, 2002

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews


"Whether your interest in the '¬´60s is academic, nostalgic or merely curious, this A-Z compendium is a groovy way to re-examine the many wonderful, way-out colors of the decade'¬?s cultural kaleidoscope."-American Profile online "Our Pick" "This is much more than a groovy (p. 223) dictionary. It is a time capsule and a travel guide (see "trip" on p. 533) plus a social and political history of an era whose influence is pervasive and ongoing." -Wes Nisker, author of The Essential Crazy Wisdom"Provides information and insight into an explosive era that-underlying the sex, drugs, and rock '¬?n'¬? roll-was a sense of community, a spiritual revolution, and an evolutionary jump in consciousness." -Paul Krassner, author of Murder at the Conspiracy Convention and Other American Absurdities"A unique and valuable sourcebook about all of the diverse projects, probes, movements, and moments that made the '¬?60s a key turning point in our history and culture." -Richard Flacks, Ph.D., author of Beyond the Barricades: The Liberated Generation Grows Up"This book is irresistible. . . . It perfectly catches the fusion of beat generation slang, the lingo of jazz musicians . . . and the ghetto patter that resulted in a new dialect that most people now don'¬?t even recognize-so deeply has it seeped into the whole culture, spoken as often on Wall Street as the Berkeley campus." -Joe Bob Briggs, syndicated columnist --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

JOHN BASSETT McCLEARY is currently a freelance photographer and writer. In the sixties, he was a music industry photographer who traveled with the Doors, the Rolling Stones, and Tina Turner. He also photographed anti-war demonstrations and visited communes around the world. He lives in Monterey, California, with his wife, Joan. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580083552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580083553
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,578,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By D. Huw Richardson on March 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
On page 20 I learned that Alechemy was, really, about changing material things (and not spiritual things) but this kind of esotericism might be missed w/o a fascination with religious history.
On page 26 I learned that Gerald Ford was president in 1970, granting Amnesty to Vietnam Draft Dodgers... (Nixon was President then...)
On page 32 I learned that the Aryans got their name from Arius of Alexandria (confusing "Arians" and "Aryans").
... The content shows a distinct lack of research in several areas. The scope is wide and wonderful and I would have been happy to add this to my trivia collection, but I can't trust any of it given the amazing errors I've found in the first 30 pages.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I reviewed the first edition of this book on 27 August 2002 (about ten reviews down), so click through if you want to read what I originally wrote. This review is for the second edition.

Here's all I'll say about the content: the revised and expanded edition, just like the first, is an extended argument for keeping The Dream alive. If, like me (and, obviously, John Bassett McCleary), you know there was something more to 'the Sixties' than a bunch of kids getting stoned and having sex, then you'll appreciate this book not only as a reference but as a 'tickler file' for your psyche.

The main thing is, what's new in _this_ edition? Well, there are about fifty more pages of text. (The official page count has risen from 663 to 704. But the page numbering has also been adjusted: the entries, which used to start on page 12, now start on page 1 and the forematter is numbered with lowercase Roman numerals. By my count that's an increase of 52 pages.) As you'd expect, some entries are new and others are longer than they used to be.

But probably the most important thing for you to know is that McCleary and/or his editor (Joan Jeffers McCleary) have gone over the earlier edition carefully and fixed the errors that have been noted in some of the earlier reviews of this book. There was, for example, some extraneous material included in the very first entry ('A'); now it's gone. The others -- all the ones I know about, anyway -- have been corrected.

The McClearys deserve a big round of applause for the quick turnaround time. (The first edition is only two years old.) In my original review I rather unwillingly deducted maybe half a star for that stuff; it was obviously the result of deadline pressure, but this is still a reference book and factual mistakes count.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on August 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
I originally bought this book to share with my two daughters, who (at my wife's instigation) have lately taken to calling me "Hippie Dippie Joe." But it's so cool that I read and enjoyed it myself.

John Bassett McCleary has done a nice job on this book. This isn't just a dictionary or a "hippie glossary"; though it includes lots of words and phrases from the common countercultural parlance of the 1960s and '70s, it also includes (short) historical and ideological summaries, together with some stuff you wouldn't expect to find in such a source.

(Here's one example: McCleary quite rightly devotes many pages' worth of attention to the computer/Internet revolution, which probably a lot of people _still_ don't realize is part of the hippie legacy. McCleary has also starred the entries for the people he regards as most influential -- e.g. Dr. King -- and the words/phrases that have had the most impact -- e.g. "cool." And there are pages and pages and pages of lists at the back of the book.)

There are a few glitches that force me to deduct a little bit from his rating. For example, McCleary consistently refers to Henry David Thoreau's essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" as a "book" -- and, moreover, claims to have found the phrase "Question Authority" in it. This isn't a serious problem but there are enough little things like it that I can't award full points to what is, after all, supposed to be a reliable reference book. On the other hand, most of this stuff is so clearly the result of deadline pressure that I hate to deduct more than half a star, so let's just say I'm rating it at 4.5 stars.

McCleary does pretty much everything else just right.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anton Karidian VINE VOICE on March 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to learn more about the American counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, or of that era in general, THE HIPPIE DICTIONARY is both very informative and a lot of fun. It's got all kinds of entries that were common topics at the time, from summaries about historical figures such as Martin Luther King, to slang terms for.....all sorts of things. Many entries are updated to more recent times if necessary. Most of the book is arranged alphabetically, and at the end there are also some very helpful lists about the era, such as important books, movies, civil rights leaders, and so on. At about 700 pages, there's plenty to peruse. Lately I've been reading a great original documents book entitled The Sixties Papers: Documents of a Rebellious Decade, so I make sure to keep THE HIPPIE DICTIONARY close by to look up persons, places, and terms that THE SIXTIES PAPERS sometimes does not explain much about.

Usually the entries are very satisfying, but there are a few cases where I wish the book would tell more. For instance, in the entry on Jerry Garcia of the rock group The Grateful Dead, McCleary states the great importance of Garcia to the hippie era, yet oddly he gives a short entry on him and refers the reader to other sources of information. There are several entries like that in the book, and some related entries that are near duplicates, such as those on Playboy and Hugh Hefner. This is why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5.

McCleary tells it like it was, so anyone prudish about colorful language might be offended. I suspect that that and/or the liberal philosophy promoted herein is why some reviewers unfairly denounce this book.
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