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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.