Cities on a Hill: A Journey Through Contemporary American Cultures

Frances Fitzgerald, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (414p) ISBN 978-0-671-55209-1
FitzGerald (Fire in the Lake here explores four subcultures whose members she sees as quintessentially American: all of them share a belief that theycan remake their lives and, in doing so, lay the groundwork for transforming society. San Francisco's Castro neighborhood, haven of the gay-rights movement, was a sexual free-for-all before the AIDS epidemic hit; the author contrasts Harvey Milk's ""hip politics'' of the 1970s with the more stoic, conservative outlook of homosexuals today. She probes the questionable financial transactions of Jerry Falwell's Baptist church in Virginia, whose mostly white, middle-class parishioners come off here as cultish conformists. The residents of Sun City, a Florida retirement village, are pioneering a national experiment: retirement on a mass scale. They lead highly scheduled, busy lives and are disentwined from their children. Red-clad disciples of silent guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh turn out to include many articulate ex-professionals. While FitzGerald bends the evidence to fit her thesis, her report brilliantly succeeds in getting inside the minds of these communities. Major ad/promo; first serial to the New Yorker. (October 14)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
Paperback - 414 pages - 978-0-671-64561-8
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