The list author says: "Novels about the 1960s that were also written during the 1960s have a "real time" perspective about them that can never be recaptured. Novels about the 1960s that were written decades later, in hindsight, have the context of history on their side: they know what comes next. Neither is better, they are simply coming from different viewpoints in time. If read as a collection, the titles on this list, heavy as they are on culture, politics, and history, provide a multi-layered, textured narrative of one of the most colorful and turbulent American epochs."
"National Book Award winner that is long on soaring prose and written in a fine, distinct style, but due to its large cast of characters, without an emotional core. A book of ideas more than of characters, but oh, my, the ideas: considered deeply by a superior intellect. Well worth the effort required to read it."
"T. C. Boyle should win the National Book Award every year! This is a masterpiece by one of America's finest writers, in Boyle's inimitable style: the florid (and I mean that in a good way) beautiful prose, the killer detail, the raw human emotions he evokes. An unstinting characterization of the hippie culture of the late Sixties and early Seventies."
"The seminal book of the era, a nonfiction novel by the premier Sixties chronicler of our time. Written in real-time, as it occurred, in Wolfe's trademark hyperbolic, arch style. No one should even think about writing a book about the counterculture of the Sixties without reading this first."
"Though the action does not occur in the Sixties, the novel was written at the start of the decade and captures the emotional essence of the civil rights era. Say what you will about its artistic merit, there is no denying its place on the top shelf of our national library. To the 1960s what "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was to the 1860s."
"Set in 1967 San Francisco, at the height of the Summer of Love. A much-loved novel due to the main characters, whom readers come to care deeply about. An author with a light, human touch, even while writing vividly and accurately about serious ideas and historic events. Good characters matter--James Fadiman has them."