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Woodstock: The Oral History Paperback – June 1, 1989


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The landmark 1969: the first year of the Nixon presidency; the year in which the U.S. death toll in Vietnam exceeded that of the Korean War; the year of Chappaquidick--and the year of Woodstock, the three-day music festival that Margaret Mead reportedly called "the best-planned and most significant gathering of young people in the history of the world." Makower, a freelance journalist, attempts the formidable task of interpreting Woodstock by setting it squarely within its historical context and interviewing scores of participants, among them musicians, neighbors (both the hostile and the amicable) and employees at the food concessions . From the first tentative conversations between its four producers (Michael Lang, JoelRosenman, John Roberts and Artie Kornfeld) to the lingering aftermath--the grounds, for a weekend the third-largest city in New York, were afterward declared a disaster area--from the interminable security and lavatory arrangements to the "freak-out" tents and the lawsuits from locals, Woodstock comes alive here, even if the music itself seems almost incidental to the backstage dramas. Photos. QPBC selection; author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Letting over 100 attendees and others who made it happen just tell it like it was, Makower has compiled a massive literary birthday cake for Woodstock's 20th anniversary. Far wider in scope than Jack Curry's Woodstock: The Summer of Our Lives ( LJ 3/15/89), this oral history offers page after page of commentary from a cross-section of those connected with it. After writing two pages of preface, Makower never again intervenes; and while one can appreciate his aim, the massiveness of the project called for more direction: keeping track of the huge number of personalities is finally burdensome. Ultimately, this well-illustrated compilation may be of greatest use as a reference tome for 1960s scholars. Small libraries can get by with just the Curry book. More comprehensive collections will want Makower's as well because of its research value.
- David M. Turkalo, Social Law Lib . , Boston
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (June 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385247176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385247177
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,223,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 1969 rules! on August 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book over and over, and it never fails to fascinate me. Anyone who wishes they were in Bethel, NY on August 15th, 1969 should buy this book. It's filled with facts that I've never heard anywhere else, and most importantly, it is told by the people who were there: everyone from promoters and artists to festival-goers and burger-flippers. Fans of the movie and the music should invest in this book- it's a great read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Whitney on January 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
The music doesn't start until page 187, almost halfway through the book... Published 20 years ago with a text from interviews 20 years after the festival closed, those interviewed had a chance to talk about their personal experiences with the hindsight of the 70's and most of the 80's behind them.

Now that we are approaching the 40th anniversary, this book is a source for remembering how fresh and new the concept was and how the People were motivated to make it work, because we thought the music was that important.

'Build it and they will play' could have been the mission statement for the organizers, who had to invent their roles and miraculously provide resources in order to make it happen.

Let's hope that the publishers,will recognize the opprotunity of the anniversary and reprint this marvelous retelling of a sentinel event in the cultural and politcal history of the 60's, 70's and beyond.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think this book was great i enjoyed it it covered a lot of things about woodstock performances, people. i also think that if i were to get a wqoodstock book to get Information about it i would choose this book
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