Top critical review
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Excellent Thesis, Mediocre Execution
on October 19, 2005
The authors are right on in their fundamental critique of counterculture "politics." They describe how much counterculture activity does not the subvert the "system" at all and actually interferes with authentic efforts toward social justice.
For example, the counterculture emphasis on individuality and uniqueness prevents many leftists activists from making a coherent case for increasing state regulations in an effort to achieve progressive aims such as less inequality and a cleaner environment.
Unfortunately, the authors too frequently engage in overgeneralizations. Their overgeneralizations are so numerous that they often appear guilty of the very all-or-nothing thinking that they accuse counterculture rebels of. Furthermore, the authors make too many blanket assertions about subjects that are outside their field of expertise. These unsubstantiated assertions seriously undermine their credibility.
This book is a great first draft, but it should have been better researched, should have included better footnotes, and should have been far less polemical.
The main problem I see with the counterculture "rebels" is that they too often engage in black or white thinking. For example, rejecting all of the capitalism because of certain problems. However, this book will not go far in changing that because the authors commit the exact same error in thought.
In short, this book's main idea desparately needs to gain currency among leftists, but it must be presented by an author who is more nuanced, scholarly, and less judgemental than these two.