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The Greening of America Paperback – 1971

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553067672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553067675
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. R. D. Holen on March 14, 2010
An interesting presentation of the state of the US and its probable way forward into the eighties. The book was written by Charles A. Reich and published in 1970. Reich lays out the path upon which he predicts America will take, and does so with a vivid insight into the path upon which it has already travelled.

Reich conceptualises the mindset of the two poles still prevalent in the US -- Consciousness I - yearning for simplicy and a return to basics .."Most characteristic of all, Consciousness I insisted on seeing the ills of industrialism not for what they were, but as moral problems." p. 39
and Consciousness II, believing primarily in domination and the necessity for living under domination.

"Consciousness II was often associated with 'liberalism', but that usage merely altered the meaning of the latter term. For the new consciousness 'liberals' cared more about order than they did about liberty. ..... The New Deal also produced a lasting institutional product to go with Consciousness II - the public state. The hope behind this creation was that now public and private power ... would balance each other, and the result would be containment of both ... What the theory neglected was the possibility that the two kinds of power might join... to form the inhuman structure in which we now live -- the American Corporate State." pp 60-61.

These words might have been written as a prologue to the 2008 collapse of the economic system across the globe: instead it was written between 1960 and 1970.
Well worth re-reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William Bagley on December 24, 2007
I have not taken an hallucinogenic drugs or for that matter any prescription ones either. But I do feel the meditation and transformation of consciousness is a viable theme and feel that this books give a flavor of this kind of shift and hints that such a shift is only one of many that humankind will undergo. It is a call to wake up beyond a kind robotic and habitual existence, move beyond living rigid roles, and feeling beyond an isolated sense of self based on repression, feeling more emotionally free, more able to love, and more open to the wonders of being alive. The book, to me, is a poem hidden behind an essay. Other books have shared similar sentiments. I was impressed at how much was condensed and summarized so well. While I do feel that taking hallucinogens did open up a lot of people to another kind of consciousness and even did so without years of meditation, I have not been tempted to do the same. There may be some biochemical price to pay for some to mess with their brain chemistry in this manner, especially if their brains are already walking a delicate balance. For some, they seem to do fine afterwards and others the chemical seems to shock them to a better place. But whatever the verdict about the efficacy of this approach, I think something was discovered through it and instigated a collective shift that we are still riding, still trying integrate, with some casualties along the way. It seems that many from this time period did move on to meditation and a way of life that is built around this discipline. Many developed forms of bodywork, psychotherapy, and hypnotherapy, social activism, feminism, and participatory democracy, all from that time and its awakening. For me, this book paints all this into a large picture with broad brush strokes, leaving the details for others to work out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JOHN Q PUBLIC on December 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The hippie movement, a.k.a. the human potential movement, the counterculture, as described in the book, had pretty much died out by the late 70s. It was hijacked by the Government/Media, i.e. the Corporate State, which was able to instill fear in the public regarding not only psychedelics, but any alternative lifestyles as well. Their message was the age-old materialistic one: “You can’t enjoy life unless you make a lot of money. Buy our product(s) and you’ll be happy”. So, a great many of those of college age went for MBAs and PR and Industry, or into the armed forces to gain skills for making a good living and largely left the humanities behind. This was the ‘hippie to yuppie’ conversion. As Jackson Browne put it, they “exchanged Love’s bright and fragile glow for the glitter and the rouge” (the 80s). Things have gotten much worse since this book was written, and the option of ‘dropping out’ is looking more and more viable. The Corporate State, or ‘The System’ as we used to call it, has almost everyone in its thrall. It fits the description of ‘the Beast’ mentioned in the Bible: You can’t buy, sell, or make a living (in the corporate world) without being subservient to it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laura Brose on July 19, 2008
Format: Unknown Binding
The Greening of America by Charles A. Reich (Review by Laura Brose) c. 2008
At first glance, the title, "The Greening of America" can lead one to believe that this is a book about ecology, or landscaping, or perhaps both.
In this case, however, while the increasing public consciousness of environmental conservation and ecological issues which would emerge in the 1970s is discussed in the book, this phenomenon is cited as only one of the sea changes in society and culture being wrought by the divergent mindset of the emerging generation then in their teens and twenties, the erstwhile Youth with a capital Y, now known as the Baby Boomers, now no longer chronologically and physically youthful. In the context of the title and the book the "greening" of America is an encompassing renewal of public values in many different sectors of society from participation in government taking new forms and new importance (protests, the Peace Movement, and the vote given to 18 year olds as the spoils of the Vietnam war, the Draft and the War having become issues which were personally relevant to a then-growing category of the population) to changes in fashion (the common usage of casual clothing and growing social acceptance of jeans as appropriate garments for all ages and sexes making freer and more casual behavior possible).
This renewal is credited to a shift in individual consciousness, known in the book as Consciousness III.
"Consciousness III is an attempt to gain transcendence. This becomes apparent when we compare Consciousness III to Consciousness I and II. I and II are more alike than they are different. They both represent the underlying form of consciousness appropriate to the age of industrial development and the market economy, beginning in the eighteenth century.
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