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The Greening of America, 25th Anniversary Edition Paperback – October 3, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
This new consciousness, which is essentially the hippie lifestyle, is a new extension of man that has grown from a technological and corporate society run amuck, and two prior forms of consciousness that failed to properly allow man to run a high-tech world. This first consciousness was what our founding fathers had: a sense of individuality and hard work. With the advent of industrialism, this consciousness gave way to the second form. This is the one most of us are familiar with today. It a way of strict conformity to hierarchy, a rigid adherence to rules and regulations, as well as heavily materialistic and goal-oriented. Reich argues that this way of being was too stilted and crushed individuality and free expression. The result was the third phase of consciousness: the hippie. Doing your own thing, freedom, and a desire to make technology work for humanity were the ultimate goals of this group. Reich examines their clothing (of which shoeless activity is perfectly acceptable for a college professor) and music.Read more ›
I'll be the first to admit that the book is uneven & naive, almost heartbreakingly so at times. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when viewed against the crass, cynical, materialistic wasteland of contemporary America ... the very thing that so many in the 1960s feared & fought. You can reasonably argue that Reich's vision for the future was impractical, perhaps even impossible to implement. But why does the prospect of a world moved more by peace & love & understanding, however unlikely to actually occur, fill its critics with such rancor & loathing? Is the current cultural model of obscene wealth at the expense of human decency actually preferable? Clearly, it is to some, i.e., those who've secured their well-funded niche & intend to hold onto it no matter what. Of course Reich's worldview looks like madness & anathema to them.
Which is why his book is still worth reading, flaws & all. For all its missteps & failures to follow through, the counterculture at least offered glimpses of other possibilities, of lives that might be devoted to more than rapacious greed, narcissism, and soul-numbing superficiality.Read more ›
In a sense I would say Reich is detailing the institutional control that Herbet Marcuse talks of in his book Eros and Civilisation.
As a second year arts/law student this book has given me a definite insight into the reality of the system which I am reluctantly partaking, an insight which makes it seem all the more repugnant.
One warning, Reich required the reader to use their own analytical skills to apply his discourse to society, so if you are a person who needs hundreds of examples for each notion raised as you can not visualise them yourself, don't buy this book. Otherwise, its a fine text.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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I bought this in a second-hand bookshop.. the owner was pleased that I had picked it out.. like it was a lost gem. "That book sold loads when it came out!" he said... But why? Read morePublished on December 30, 2005 by max rspct
George Will reviewed this book and said that it was the worst book ever written. He was right. If you want to understand the insanity of that period just read this book. Read morePublished on February 14, 2000 by Susan Jordan
I am looking for a copy--I'm so sad that I can't find one. Reich describes so well, the youth culture of that era. Now in my 50's I'd like to revisit the thinking of that time. Read morePublished on August 20, 1999