Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul

Clara Bingham. Random, $30 (656p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9318-9
In this oral history of the American counterculture from August 1969 to September 1970, Bingham (Women on the Hill) assembles an impressive who's who of the activists, outlaws, and idealists who sought to bring America to its reckoning, for better or worse. Perhaps the most astonishing part of Bingham's account is the sheer number of memorable events that occurred in this "school year": Woodstock, Kent State, Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, the Weather Underground's campaign of bombings, Seymour Hersh breaking the My Lai massacre story, Robin Morgan publishing her feminist essay "Goodbye to All That," and Fred Hampton and Mark Clark being murdered by the Chicago police. Vietnam vets were coming out against the war and youths were opening their minds with LSD. It would be a mistake, however, to assume Bingham's book is an uncomplicated celebration of the "awakened generation." Many of the reminiscences end in regret; ironically, just as the New Left's antiwar message was beginning to hit home with the American public, the movement itself was self-destructing. By the end of Bingham's history it becomes clear that time has done little to cast these crucial events in any clarifying light. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/11/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5159-1100-5
Paperback - 656 pages - 978-0-8129-8326-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5159-6100-0
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