In a “subjective and highly selective” chronicle of 1967, Goldberg (Dispatches from the Culture Wars), a music executive, defends the ideals of the hippies and their lasting impact. After high school, Goldberg headed west to San Francisco, where he experienced firsthand Haight-Ashbury’s countercultural blossoming. He extols the sense of agape, the ancient Greek term for unconditional love, that the hippies professed. The “lost chord” includes LSD and the new music scene, most prominently Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. The ideal was pure, but Goldberg doesn’t avoid various criticisms, including the growing commercialization of the movement and the charge by political radicals such as the Black Panthers and antiwar activists that the “freaks” were merely self-indulgent kids rebelling against their middle-class parents. The drugs were supposedly “mind-expanding,” but they led to destructive behavior, especially after pot and acid were replaced by heroin and speed. Goldberg isn’t blind to these weaknesses, but loyally defends the period as “a flash to indicate something different was possible.” He credits the hippies with bringing environmentalism, yoga, meditation, and organic food, among other things, into the mainstream of American life. While often just skimming the surface of complex issues, Goldberg brings a personal passion that itself illustrates the lasting resonance of the hippie era. Agent: Laura Nolan, Kuhn Projects. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017 Release date: 06/01/2017 Genre: Nonfiction
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