Woodstock: Oral Hi/PB

Joel Makower, Author
Joel Makower, Author Doubleday Books $14.95 (361p) ISBN 978-0-385-24717-7
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
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. (July)
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