cover image Hippie


Barry Miles. Sterling, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-1-4027-1442-9

Biographer of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and the Beat Movement itself, Miles broadens his scope to the years 1965 through 1971, a time that""really was about sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll."" This massive catalog tries to cram it all in, with quotes from groovy personalities (Timothy Leary, John Lennon, Ken Kesey, Wavy Gravy, Abbie Hoffman, Grace Slick, Frank Zappa), posters and album sleeves (Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company), period photographs (antiwar protests, love-ins, mobile communes, Haight-Ashbury), and stray ephemera (a napkin from the Whiskey A Go Go). Musicians take precedence over artists: readers looking for Peter Max or R. Crumb won't even find them in the index. Despite the tremendous assemblage, the volume lacks a coherent organization. The table of contents, divided by years, has no page numbers. A section on the Watts Riots is sandwiched between the Byrds and Leary. More an affectionate scrapbook of the psychedelic moment than a trenchant history of the countercultural movement, this collection will appeal primarily to memorabilia enthusiasts. Over 600 full-color and b/w illustrations.