Daughters of Aquarius: Women of the Sixties Counterculture

Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, Author University Press of Kansas $24.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-7006-1633-6
Author and history professor Lemke-Santangelo (Abiding Courage: African American Migrant Women in the East Bay Community) examines the history and impact of the ""hippie women"" of the 1960's and 70's counterculture, whose contributions to the second wave of feminism ""have been shrouded in popular misconceptions and stereotypes."" Using memoirs and interviews (eight new), as well as extensive analysis and personal photos, Lemke-Santangelo illuminates the way figures like author Lenore Kendall and beat poet Diane DiPrima ""altered the social, political, economic and cultural landscape"" and brought everything from ""natural childbirth and mothering to New Age spiritual beliefs, eco-feminism, holistic health, and sustainable agriculture"" into the national discourse (sowing seeds for the current ""green"" movement). Though most were white and ""children of prosperity,"" Lemke-Santangelo addresses and dispels stereotyped notions of ""earth mothers"" and ""love goddesses""-an oppressive vision promoted even in the (male-dominated) counterculture press-to present an unobstructed view of their day-to-day lives, finding a lifestyle at once progressive and strikingly similar to that of their hard-working great-grandmothers. Filling a gap in the scholarship of feminism, this history presents (and preserves) stories from a wide range of counterculture women with lively, populist prose and little academic posturing.
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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