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Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties 0th Edition

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520209107
ISBN-10: 0520209109
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"She has written personal histories that will demand and earn your attention and respect." -- Carol Felsenthal, About Books

From the Inside Flap

"The book is witty, sad, incisive, and totally clean of sociological cant or the pomposities of a certain kind of generalizing journalism. . . . It has the resonance of a good novel." —Dan Wakefield

"Sara Davidson is the liveliest historian of her generation."—Malcolm Cowley

"Sara Davidson is an expert witness. . . . Now, more than 10 years after leaving Berkeley, she has followed up on some of her friends, and presents an absorbing and carefully detailed account of their lives up until now, especially her own life and that of two others, Tasha and Susie. Every bit of it fascinating."—Diane Johnson

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 381 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520209109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520209107
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Welcome! If you'd like to read an excerpt from The December Project, please visit my website, www.saradavidson.com. If you pre-order the book, you'll get a bonus--a free recording we produced of Reb Zalman singing,talking with me,and leading a meditation on letting go. You can start enjoying it right away, before the book arrives.

Now for the BIO:

Sara Davidson first captured America's imagination with her international best seller, "Loose Change," about three women growing up in the Sixties.

Sara grew up in California and went to Berkeley in the Sixties, where the rite of passage was to "get stoned, get laid and get arrested."

After Berkeley she headed for New York to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her first job was with the Boston Globe, where she became a national correspondent, covering everything from the election campaigns of Bobby Kennedy and Richard Nixon to the Woodstock Festival and the student strike at Columbia.

Returning to New York, she worked as a free-lance journalist for magazines ranging from Harpers, Esquire and the New York Times to Rolling Stone. She was one of the group who developed the craft of literary journalism, combining the techniques of fiction with rigorous reporting to bring real events and people to life. Her work is collected in the textbook, "The Literary Journalists," by Norman Sims.

Sara moved back to California where for 25 years, she alternated between writing for television and writing books. The books tend to fall in the gray zone between memoir and fiction. She uses the voice of the intimate journalist, drawing on material from her life and that of others and shaping it into a narrative that reads like fiction.

In television, she created two drama series, "Jack and Mike," and "Heart Beat," which ran on A.B.C. She was later co-executive producer of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," wrote hundreds of hours of drama episodes, movies and miniseries, and in 1994 was nominated for a Golden Globe.

In the year 2000, her life began to unravel. She was divorced, her children were leaving for college and she couldn't find work in television. Following her intuition, knowing nobody, she drove to Boulder, Colorado for three months to be a visiting writer at the University of Colorado. She never drove back, and has pieced together a different life which she writes about in Leap!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sara Davidson's "Loose Change" is a brilliantly-written account of the Sixties as experienced by three young women coming of age. I bought this book when it first came out in 1977 and loved it. Recently, I came across "Loose Change" in a used book store and just couldn't put it down.
The Sixties were a time of great social upheaval, and I remember many of the major events. I went though college in the late 60s and early 70s. Even though my background is somewhat different -- Blue collar, conservative, Catholic, male, short-haired, Pittsburgh, and definitely never inhaled -- it was interesting to see the female, radical point of view. Like many others in that period, Sara, Susie, and Tasha search for life's meaning in a turbulent time in which the old values they grew up with have withered away.
You are there in the historical events and movements of that period -- the Antiwar movement, major student protests at Berkeley and Columbia, the bloodbath at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, the music of Woodstock, rural communes, free sex, and the terror of the Altamont Concert.
This book seems to get better over time because there is a greater contrast between today's world and the 1960s. The Antiwar, Womens' Liberation, and Civil Rights Movements changed the country and the world for the better, and drugs have changed things for the worst. And the sexual revolution.... well, you be the judge.
I like Ms. Davidson's rich writing style, as she places the reader right there, feeling and experiencing life with Sara, Susie, and Tasha, "warts and all." She's gutsy enough to talk about sexuality, a formerly taboo subject.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. dunne on July 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I saw the miniseries on TV in 1978 in a college dorm with my girlfriends. It so inspired us, that as we tearfully said our good-byes at graduation, "Loose Change" became our anthem to describe what we expected as our futures unfolded. In 1999, I saw an article about Sara Davidson in People magazine, and I remembered how much the story had meant to me twenty years before--so it was time to get the book. The book jogged memories of the issues and choices I faced in the '70s, and also reminded me how much those '60s trailblazers did for their younger boomer-counterparts. I think it's time for the author to do a follow-up on these women today. In the meantime, I'm sending this book to my old college girlfriends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OmegaLib on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
My mother, a Cal student some years before the trio of protagonists presented in Davidson's book, brought this book home when I was twelve and hungry for coming-of-age stories about women. As a young reader, I slotted the four (a fourth is constant but not as fully reported) women thus: Tasha, the sad pretty art one; Sara, the awkward charger; Susie, the deep political one; and Candy, the grounded earth mother. I read and reread their adventures through my adolescence, changing favorites every time.

The book didn't give me a map - despite my mother's (aborted) education, I didn't belong to a generation or class that could bop off to Europe, take books of Wallace Stevens everywhere, or even go to college, let alone consider joining the Peace Corps or sitting-in as a political effort - but it illustrated several ways of growing to female adulthood. Davidson's emphases on sex and work, as well as the very different ways in which the women engaged with politics and culture, were instructive and completely engaging

As I reread my mother's old hardbound copy - the spine broke years ago - I can see several jarring instances that I didn't recognize as a kid, when printed stories meant truth on paper. The author's proto-new-age obsession toward the end particularly grates, as does one woman's history of virginal conception. Davidson was a reporter and this isn't reportage, tho I'm not sure it was meant to be.

For YA readers now, this memoir is hugely valuable as a historical depiction of the era, particularly of the unapologetic sexism of the sixties. Stories of this kind are too rare.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a Berkeley student in the 60's, this book is still the best when it comes to capturing the spirit of the place and the time. I wish Davidson would write more about this unique period in American history.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Allison on September 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
It takes a lot to make a book excellent where all elements are concerned, but Sara Davidson has managed to accomplish that with Loose Change. The characters are very vivid, and easy to picture. What really made me enjoy this was that it was based on the actual lives of the three main characters. I thought that the sixties was covered here in great detail, with images that seemed to jump out at the reader from the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would love to read others that were similar to it. Highly reccommended!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I first read this book some 10 years ago, I quickly identified with the characters, even though I am Jewish girl from NYC. Ten years later, I often think about the characters and wonder how they turned out. I ffound the book to be true to "us" and how "we" really felt as we went through the 60's, Vietnam, drugs and free love. You had to be there. The author captures the moment. Why not write a follow up to Loose Change? You could call it Dollar Bills.
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