Across the Great Divide: A Photo Chronicle of the Counterculture

Roberta Price, Univ. of New Mexico, $34.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8263-4957-6
With these 121 photographs, Price (Huerfano) offers a guided tour of the communities and communes—places like the Red Rockers, Drop City, Reality Construction Company—that sprang up in New Mexico and Colorado in the late 1960s and early '70s. Price's understated, almost journalistic foray is lit by warmth, humor, and the abundant tenderness of her subjects; the photographs function as part family album (Price herself called a commune her home for seven years), part countercultural slide show, part lesson in American history. The photos—in both color and black and white—depict commune life: colorfully painted buses, naked babies, long-haired men, bearded musicians, countercultural icons passing through, vegetable gardens, all set against the dramatic southwestern horizon. If at first glimpse, these images appear as familiar images of hippie culture, a closer look reveals nuance and idiosyncrasy. Characters recur, a story begins to emerge, and the work unfurls into a profound exploration that touches on ethnography. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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