2014-11-21: The Sixties Unplugged

The Sixties Unplugged (2008)

by Gerard J DeGroot (1955-)

De Groot writes in his introduction:

 Memory acts like a filter, yielding a clearer image of the past. The impurities are removed, producing a distillation both logical and meaningful. We forget, for instance, that back then the music business made a lot of money from silly songs like “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy,” or that Sergeant Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Berets” outsold “Give Peace a Chance.” …

This book is the history of a decade, not of an idea. … For forty years, a battle has raged over ownership of the decade, with those who dare to question hallowed truths bombarded with a fusillade of consecrated dogma. In no other period of history has canon been allowed so freely to permeate analysis.

I started the book (from the public library) with the expectation of reading a bit and putting it back. I was engrossed enough to read it all. If someone ever attempts to catalog the rise and fall of memes in populations and times, this book would make an interesting starting point.

I found the contents somewhat interesting, with each part referring to a song of the sixties:

. Preludes

Torgau: A Brief Moment of Sanity
At Home: The Generation Gap

. Premonitions
On the Airwaves: Transistor Radios
San Francisco: A Collection of Angels Howling at the World
Worcester: The Pill
The Congo: Democracy Murdered
The Old Bailey: Lady Chatterley on Trial
Washington: New Frontiers

. Hard Rain A
Sharpeville: Apartheid Is a Way of Death
Bay of Pigs: It Seemed Like a Good Idea
Berlin: The Wall
Ap Bac: Bad News from a Place Called Vietnam
Novaya Zemlya and Cuba: Big Bombs

. All Gone to Look for America
Albany and Birmingham: Lessons of Nonviolence
Port Huron: Students for a Democratic Society
Washington: I Have a Dream
Arlington National Cemetery: Kennedy and Vietnam

. Call Out the Instigators
Duxbury: Rachel Carson
Harlem: Malcolm X
Havana: Che
Miami: The Greatest
Chelsea: Mary Quant

. Universal Soldiers
The Tonkin Gulf: Carte Blanche
Sinai: The Six-Day War
Biafra: The Problem of Africa
Guangxi Province: Cannibals for Mao

. And in the Streets …
Margate: Mods versus Rockers
Watts: Long Hot Summer
Berkeley: Free Speech
Amsterdam: Provo Pioneers
Selma: Black Power

. Sex, Drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll
Millbrook: Acid Dreams
In Bed: Sex and Love
Liverpool: The Beatles
Manchester: The Battle for Bob Dylan
Woodstock: A Festival, Yes; A Nation, No

. Everybody Get Together
Sharon: Young Americans for Freedom
London: Love Is All You Need
San Francisco: It’s Free Because It’s Yours!
Greenwich Village: Yippie!
Oakland: The Black Panthers
Delano: Boycott Grapes

. Turn, Turn, Turn
Saigon: Tet
Atlantic City: From Miss America to Ms. World
Greenwich Village: Stonewall
San Francisco: Summer of Rape

. Gone to Graveyards
Memphis: The Death of King
Prague: Short Spring
Los Angeles: The Death of Hope
Mexico City: Shooting Students

. You Say You Want a Revolution?
Berlin: Rudi the Red
New York: Up against the Wall, Motherfucker!
Paris: Absurdists Revolt
London: A Very British Revolution

. Wilted Flowers
The Vatican: Humanae Vitae
Mayfair: Casualties of the Cultural Revolution
People’s Park: The Future in a Vacant Lot
San Diego: A Burning Desire to End the War

. Meet the New Boss
Jakarta: A Perfect Little Coup
Hollywood: Takin’ Care of Business
Los Angeles: A Goddamned Electable Person
St. Louis: Curt Flood versus Baseball

. No Direction Home
Altamont: The Day the Music Died
Chappaquiddick: A Career Drowned
The Moon: Magnificent Desolation
Greenwich Village: You Don’t Need a Weatherman
Old Bailey: Another Obscenity Trial

Epitaph: It’s Life’s Illusions I Recall

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