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by Barry Miles

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Between the years 1965 and 1971 something happened to make the world on one side of that divide all but unrecognizable to the world on the other side. For better or for worse (it very much depends on whom you ask), those seven years revolutionized western-and eventually global-culture as utterly as any of the great turning points in our history. What happened


Between the years 1965 and 1971 something happened to make the world on one side of that divide all but unrecognizable to the world on the other side. For better or for worse (it very much depends on whom you ask), those seven years revolutionized western-and eventually global-culture as utterly as any of the great turning points in our history. What happened were the hippies.

  Long hair, grass and LSD, free love, rock music and the great festivals from Monterey to Woodstock, antiwar protests and political activism, communes and macrobiotics, spiritual seeking in Eastern religions and personal transformation in therapies and practices from est to gestalt, the first stirrings of the modern environmental and feminist movements: the hippies were defined by virtually everything so-called straight society was not.

   Hippie combines hundreds of photographs, a fascinating narrative highlighting all the social and cultural upheavals of the time, as well as quotations from many of the people-Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Grace Slick, George Harrison, Wavy Gravy, and many others-who lived through and shaped the counter culture. Proceeding year by year, it gives an unprecedented degree of shape and coherence to a time that by its nature is kaleidoscopically bewildering.

   For instance, 1965 saw the formation of the key psychedelic rock bands, including the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. In 1966 the Hare Krishna movement was born, and 1967 was the year of the Summer of Love in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and the release of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1968 politics erupted into violent clashes from Paris to Chicago. 1969 demonstrated the possibilities of the communal spirit at Woodstock as well as its limits at Altamont. 1970 was marked by the first Gay Pride marches and the first Earth Day in the U.S. And by 1971, even politicians were wearing their hair down to their collars and many aspects of the hippie way of life, from vegetarianism and organic food to the perpetual quest for enlightenment and self-realization, had taken permanent root in the general community -- and marketplace.

   This book is a sensory delight and a mind expanding trip for those who came of age before and after the hippie years and wonder what that time was really like, and especially for those who were part of the scene themselves and would like to know how their particular experience fits in with everything that the hippies meant and presaged.


About the author:

Barry Miles was a central figure in the development of the hippie movement in the UK and has written biographies of Beat generation writers Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac.

Editorial Reviews

Christopher Hitchens
… photographs (plus a certain pungent reek that some people, such as myself, never actually inhaled) are the best mnemonic prompting. To turn the shiny pages of Hippie is to breathe deeply.
— The New York Times
(STARRED REVIEW). The watershed 1960s can be gloriously re-experienced in the pages of this magnificent oversize volume. The swinging sixties will live forever for the boomers who came of age in that decade; for their parents, who, at the time, felt uncomfortable with the abrupt shifts they observed in values and attitudes (to say nothing of dress); and now for their children, who listen to the rock music of that era and wonder, Was it really all that cool? Miles uses the hippie as a metaphor for the whole cultural experience of the 1960s and its impact on American – no, world – political and social life. As is so graphically documented here, the hippie was the epitome of the youth culture and very much defined the times. This was the great era of protest; hippies stood outside society, and from that vantage point, they offered both valid and off-the-wall criticism. This luscious book, its textual accompaniment as spirited as its bounty of dynamic illustrations (including candid photos, album covers, and publicity shots), establishes the wide social boundaries of the movement – from antiwar activities to fashion and music and cinema – and spotlights the individuals most important to the counterculture, from Bob Dylan to Jim Morrison, from Ken Kesey to Abbie Hoffman. And, of course, the new-arrivals display potential of this book is rich and varied. Wayne Koestembaum’s biography Andy Warhol (2001) could be set beside it as collateral reading, as could Bruce Spizer’s The Beatles are Coming! (2004) and the Autobiography of Martin Luther King (1998), a collection of King’s writings. Also, don’t forget to use books and even actual artifacts pertaining to gay liberation, fashions of the time, cinema, and all other aspects of distinctive sixties culture.
August 2004 issue
Nick Gillespie
To his credit, Miles, best known as a biographer of those proto-hippies, the Beats, doesn't shy away from the dark side of '60s youth culture. The Manson Family, not just the Merry Pranksters, appears in DayGlo detail. Nor does he gloss over the misogyny at the heart of much of "freak culture," even as he convincingly argues it ultimately helped to liberate women, gays and straights. The freshest part of the book is the attention paid to European variants, and the colorful reprints from the censored English underground mag Oz are worth the price of Hippie alone.
— The Washington Post

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.11(d)

Meet the Author

Barry Miles is an English author whose work focuses on the London underground of the 1960s, a time during with he co-owned the Indica Gallery, helped start the independent newspaper International Times, and collaborated with The Beatles on their founding of Apple Records. He has written several books, and his work is still published in left-wing newspapers. Ana Mata is the translator.

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Hippie 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saw it at the local B&N bookstore and fell in love right away. It has not disappointed me. A budding flower child in the late 60's, it's the scrapbook of that incredible time I'd never be able to make myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
crafter315 More than 1 year ago
As an aging Haight-Ashbury hippie, I loved this book. It took me back to my time in the Haight. It doesn't sensationalize...it just gives you the facts of what was going on at the time. I like that...fyi..that photo on the front could have been me! Ahhh..those were the days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nickanmaxie More than 1 year ago
I could not believe all the things that "I did not know" that are in this book. This is everything...........I mean everything you always wanted to know about the 60's and more.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is soooo cool for people that want to relive the awesome days that we unfourtionatly missed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
amazing. enough said.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome and I highly recommend it to all the real hippies who want to relive the experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome...I love the quotes and all the pictures...Its great...Ive read it 4 times and Im reading it for the fifth time right now...its got everything that happened from 1965-1971. Its awesome I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book expresses how the hippies were more of a movement than a look. It includes many lyrics from songs during the hippie era because a lot of those lyrics reflect the time period. The author focuses on how the hippies had many positive and negative points to them, but they always had good intentions and amazing views of the future. He also inserts many quotes by famous people during the 1960's and 1970's. These quotes are placed throughout the book explaining thoroughly certain points that described in detail what was going on during the time. One of these quotes is one by George Harrison, which basically sums up the point of the book, 'The hippies are a good idea- love, flowers, and that is great- but when you see the other half of it, it's like anything. I love all these people, too, those who are honest and trying to find a bit of truth and to straighten out the untruths. I'm with them one hundred percent, but when I see the bad side of it, I'm not so happy.'