Part memoir, part eyewitness history, part storytelling, this book takes you on a rollicksome ride through a generation of experiences.
True Stories traces the evolution of a New World Culture from the Beatnik 1950s through the passions and protests and psychedelics of the 1960s, and onward into environmental and cross-cultural arts and political movements which today are thriving around the world.
Told with humor and peppered with the author’s philosophy, these stories take the reader to party with author Jack Kerouac, protest with the saintly Dorothy Day, and drop acid with Merry Prankster Ken Kesey. The history recounted here uncovers the origins of The Oregon Country Faire, the Rainbow Gatherings and the infamous Vortex Festival. The tales thread their way through the intimacies of America’s West Coast communes, caustic anti-Vietnam War protests, the beauty of creating community gardens in vacant city lots, and the untold tale of what really brought down the Soviet Union.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In an utterly honest writing voice, swinging from broad humor to loving kindness then intellectual passion and pride, author Garrick Beck reveals the complex, often astounding growth of a new culture of peace and unity. Beginning in the late 1950s, he takes the reader back across many miles to his own upbringing with a broadly spiritual, generous family in the performing arts. His mother and father were the founders of the Living Theatee which brought its message of interaction and peace through mutual understanding, worldwide. A young student of the earth and its residents, Beck travels From New York City, west to Oregon’s legendary Reed College during the protest era of the late 1960s. Soon, he discovers more than his head can hold at once and it leads to a new direction and his life’s many-faceted work. The International Rainbow Family Gatherings grew directly out of these days of both personal and academic discovery. During those times, I was a young participant or a peripheral spectator to many of the events his memoir illustrates, up and down the West Coast. I’d connected with the author many times during those years until I left the commune in 1972 to hitchhike to New York City where I finally found my home. The joy with which his words restored my memory of those times and those friends made this a remarkable read. From the pages sprang moments that had been buried beneath the years’ accumulations. Within, as well, are his personal anecdotes of the rugged, uphill road he often faced. The Powers That Be rarely understand any attempts to create communities where all humans can share this wonderful world together and these stories are as surprising as they are expected. I found True Stories well illustrated with candid photo images, many from the author’s own collection. Overall, the book has a joyful, up-beat personality that left me inspired to keep my eyes peeled for the signpost that will tell us we’ve passed the next test. For anyone with an interest in the growth and thinking behind the emergence of the counter culture of the 1960s and 70s and hope for the future survival of our species, this book should be required reading.