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Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson Kindle Edition
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|Length: 526 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Even if you aren't too interested in Manson, this book is a crucial look into aspects of America's past: our prison system, dysfunction of families, crime & punishment (& lack thereof), civil rights era, African American & Muslims in America (ways they fought discrimination), drug culture, 60s & 70s politics, San Francisco social history, LA music scene & social history, cults, gangs, Vietnam War, sexual culture of the 60s, psychology & sociology, music (rock) history, history of the Beatles & Beach Boys, & more.
I have a BA in history, & I highly suggest this book for any American history professor for their students to read. I would've gotten much more out of this book for the time periods involved, than many US history books I had to read. Would be helpful also in criminology, sociology, pysch., mental illness, drug history, US politics, & so much more.
So, you just told me the story. Then why do I need to read the book? Guinn's approach is three pronged: there's the rise and fall of Manson; a thorough look at the 1960's music industry; and the bizarre maelstrom of the 60's...Berkeley, Haight Ashbury, drugs, sex, and the disenfranchisement of the decade's youth. For the first time, a biographer of Charlie's has spoken to his school mates, teachers, and his half sister and cousin to try to piece together what made Charles Manson the master manipulator, pathological liar, and psychopath that he became. It seems all of this began very early in his life. Guinn does an admiral job in trying to piece this part of Manson's life together. As Charlie got older, and spent more and more time in reform schools and prison, he actually hung out with pimps to try to learn from them how to choose women for prostitution, the ones with self esteem or image problems or Daddy problems who'd buy into a smooth talker. He also studied Dale Carnegie and L. Ron Hubbard to better hone his manipulation skills. Much is made of Charlie's collaboration with the Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and Charlie's trying to be a musician bigger than The Beatles. As far as "the family"? Guinn does a good job of trying to help us understand how these people were so easily manipulated. Charlie had them garbage diving for food, stealing, "creepy-crawling" into people's homes at night and, of course, murder. As the queen of non-fiction murder mysteries, Ann Rule, puts it: The bio "stands as a definitive work: important for students of criminology, human behavior, popular culture, music, psychopathology and sociopathology, and compulsively readable for anyone who relishes nonfiction." I don't know if I'd go that far. But I do have one question for the author. He was quoted as saying that one of the reasons he wanted to write about Manson was to find out how WE grew such a monster. WE? I believe in inherent evil and I believe that Manson is inherently evil. The crucible that was the '60's aided and abetted but did not create the evil in this man.