There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the '60s

There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the '60s

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by Peter Doggett
     
 

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Between 1965 and 1972, political activists around the globe prepared to mount a revolution. While the Vietnam War raged, calls for black power grew louder and liberation movements erupted everywhere from Berkeley, Detroit, and Newark, to Paris, Berlin, Ghana, and Peking.
Rock and soul music fueled the revolutionary movement with anthems and iconic imagery. Soon

Overview

Between 1965 and 1972, political activists around the globe prepared to mount a revolution. While the Vietnam War raged, calls for black power grew louder and liberation movements erupted everywhere from Berkeley, Detroit, and Newark, to Paris, Berlin, Ghana, and Peking.
Rock and soul music fueled the revolutionary movement with anthems and iconic imagery. Soon the musicians themselves, from John Lennon and Bob Dylan to James Brown and Fela Kuti, were being dragged into the fray. From Mick Jagger’s legendary appearance in Grosvenor Square standing on the sidelines and snapping pictures, to the infamous incident during the Woodstock Festival when Pete Townshend kicked yippie Abbie Hoffman off the stage while he tried to make a speech about an imprisoned comrade, Doggett unravels the truth about how these were not the “Street Fighting Men” they liked to see themselves as and how the increasing corporatization of the music industry played an integral role in derailing the cultural dream. There’s a Riot Going On is a fresh, definitive, and exceedingly well-researched behind-the-scenes account of this uniquely turbulent period when pop culture and politics shared the world stage with mixed results.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A fan's lucid notes on a time when the hope or fear, depending on one's viewpoint, of "a violent assault on the established order" occupied minds, megaphones and microphones. British chronicler Doggett (The Art & Music of John Lennon, 2005, etc.), who is just old enough to remember the '60s, is comfortable looking at the time through a kaleidoscope and reporting his visions in straightish lines-not easy, given its myriad madcap qualities. Among his exhibits: Allen Ginsberg, who wondrously declared that he would use language to end the Vietnam War ("The poet says the whole war's nothing but black magic caused by wrong language & authoritatively cancels all previous magic formulas & wipes out the whole war scene without further delay"); Black Panther strategists who studied the lyrics of the man they called Bobbie Dylan as if Talmud, trying to penetrate the honky mind; Abbie Hoffman, howling "Fuck Lyndon Johnson! Fuck Robert Kennedy! And fuck you if you don't like it!" to an audience of well-groomed liberals. The era made lots of people crazy. On the other hand, it snapped some into sanity, as when, in a marvelous moment, Doggett finds MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer and singer-songwriter Tim Buckley stumbling into downtown Detroit during a race riot: "My first reaction was just like any red-blooded American kid: �Oh boy, a fire!' But then I remembered what time it was in America." Doggett dodges through the decade, noting that the Jefferson Airplane members were a pretty conservative lot (listen to "Crazy Miranda") and giving Paul McCartney wry props for sort of making an effort at being political with his song "Give Ireland Back to the Irish," which "was less incendiary thanLennon's contributions to the debate, and even more banal." Indeed, Doggett does not unduly lionize the rockers who stuck their noses into politics; as future media mogul David Geffen said when asked whether his clients were being monitored, "I don't think Nixon cares very much."A top-flight interpretation of a time, its music and its strange doings-which still look pretty good compared to now.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847671936
Publisher:
Canongate U.S.
Publication date:
05/06/2009
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
1,299,773
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.70(d)

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There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the '60s 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the author views this wildly compelling era through a liberal lens (cue the requisite Nixion-bashing) and gives unsubstantiated credence to left-wing conspiracy theories and myths (such as the nonsense that African Americans served and died in Vietnam in numbers disproportionate to their percentage of the US population), that bias is largely mitigated by his unsparing critique of radical chic disingenuous rockers (eg Mick Jagger) and the many so called revolutionaries who turned out to be, or turned into, pop culture celebrities.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
This book follows the counter-culture's various political movements from 1965 to 1972. Most of the information focuses on the happenings in the U.S., though Peter Doggett does touch upon other countries and how the turmoil connected. Doggett covers the Weathermen, the Black Power groups, Yippies, the start of the Women's Movement, the political activists such as Abbie Hoffman, and the musicians who got involved. Doggett gives us insight into why the underground movements took off the way they did, as well as why many fizzled into nothing in the end. While the book is divided by year, at times Doggett jumps around in his attempt to cover a person or movement's activities. For the most part, I didn't have a problem with the format. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the period of history that sparked an incredible amount of change in our lives.