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Sweet Chaos: The Grateful Dead's American Adventure Paperback – September 1, 1999
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Brightman does more than just present a chronology of the band's history. She explains how the Grateful Dead both influenced and was influenced by the turbulence of the events unfolding around them in the 1960's. Rather than just telling the same old story of how the band evolved from a house band for Ken Kesey's infamous Acid Tests to the top-grossing act of the early 1990's, she presents detailed histories of the band members, their families, their friends, and everyone else they came into contact with. It is also a fascinating look at the emergence of the 1960's drug culture and the involvement of everybody from Timothy Leary to the CIA.
Whether you're a baby boomer Deadhead who has followed the band since its beginnings or a Generation X Deadhead who jumped on the bandwagon when the band hit the Top 40 in the late 1980's, this book is a must-read. Sweet Chaos is a compelling report of a period in United States history and of a band that is truly beyond description. --Michael Mariani --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Carol Brightman's book is not about the Dead, except tangentially, insofar as the author knows some people in the Dead's family in virtue of being the sister of the band's lighting designer. Rather than a book about the Dead's American Adventure, we get a book about Carol Brightman's American Adventure -- in the Berkley radical scene of the 60s, a scene that the Dead clearly did not identify with, actively shuuned at times, and by turns found amusingly deluded and numbingly boring -- but never particularly important.
To the extent that the book does deal with the Dead and attendant phenomena, like the band's famously devoted fans, it adds very little to the mountain of literature on the subject which has appeared since Garcia's death in 1995. If, like the author, you are someone who embraced 60s political activism and was baffled by the psychedelic apoliticism of the hippies, you may find something interesting in the book. But if you are looking for a book about the Dead, you will be irritated by the author's relentless self-reference -- which really borders on narcissism -- as well as her vaguely condescending perspective on the band's fans and their concerns.
After reading the book, it is difficult to shake the cynical sense that its title had more to do with marketing strategy than with the book's subject matter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I LOVE THE DEAD and loved the book! Great read and alot of information I never knewPublished 13 months ago by Tara McMullen
This presents a view of the Grateful Dead Community in a whole different light from most other accounts. Read morePublished on November 27, 2013 by Paul Dennis
I love any book on the Dead~ They are always an interesting read~ I like to read books from different books on the Dead from different people's perspective~Published on October 4, 2013 by Sandi Mauk
I have been laboring through this book for a few weeks now and am within sight of the finish line (in the last chapter). Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by Bill Keithler
I read 9 pages of the book & tossed it aside.
I doubt I'll care if my cat uses it to pee on.
I agree with the other negative comments here, but something no one seems
to have mentioned are the outrageous number of factual and historical errors. Read more
I'd read every book out there about the Dead...or so I thought. Somehow this one passed me by, and I'm glad it did, because because maybe if I read it 8 years ago when it first... Read morePublished on February 28, 2007 by David K.
I got this book as a Christmas gift, and I approached it with kneejerk Deadhead prejudices (fueled by some of the reviews here, I must admit.) I was pleasantly surprised. Read morePublished on April 5, 2005 by Barbara R. Saunders
Carol Brightman, sister of GD lighting designer Candace Brightman and veteran activist, has an interesting take on the Grateful Dead. Read morePublished on October 7, 2003