Hippie Trail

4 out of 5 stars

Well, okay. I was a little disappointed at first. Truth be told, I was looking for stories of drug-taking and depravity.

[It did lead me to further research into the hippie phenomenon, in other books. The result? I was already familiar with most of that stuff! It’s been exhaustively documented, championed, mystified and rehashed.

And it led me to one telling anecdote of sexism I found on the internet. It made me wonder how much of that got glossed over. A lot, I suspect. (See the comments at: http://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com… )

Then there was the amusing anecdote of Allen Ginsberg’s participation in a leadership meeting of the hippie communes of NYC in the period-piece (1967) ‘The Hippies’ by Joe David Brown.]

Still, this book drew me in. I was rewarded with a thoughtful, insightful analysis of the cultural impact the hippies had on the countries along the ‘Hippie Trail’; indeed, the wider impact of Western mores on these societies. Fascinating, vital and timely – a lot of this history and perspective would’ve been lost, without this book. I think it’s good sociological reportage.

My compliments and thanks to the author for having the courage to address this story without rose-colored glasses.

***

as seen on my Goodreads review http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10322801-amy-eighttrack

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