Remembering the Summer of Love a Half-Century Ago

In the summer of 1967, a counterculture movement touting liberation from conventional norms and experimentation with drugs and sex burst into the headlines. Its largest gathering that season occurred in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, where tens of thousands of people massed in hippie dress, listening to acid rock, espousing Utopian visions, and challenging the status quo. But the phenomenon also spread across America ushering in a generational change in social mores, cultural tastes, and political values.
This summer, P&P has put together a display of books to commemorate the 50th anniversary of what became known as the Summer of Love. It features recent works about the 1960s as well as some writings from that era. Among the books are:

  • In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea by Danny Goldberg – A personal account that chronicles the culture, music, mores, and politics of 1967 to underscore that what transpired had lasting significance.
  • Witness to the Revolution by Clara Bingham – An oral history of America in 1969 and 1970 based on interviews with more than 100 people who reflect on the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, LSD, the Pentagon Papers, women’s liberation, and much more.
  • In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs, edited by Andrew Blauner – An anthology of essays by 29 authors and musicians highlighting the evolution of the Beatles and the impact of their music on generations since.
  • Wait Till I’m Dead: Uncollected Poems by Allen Ginsberg, edited by Bill Morgan – Contains more than 100 previously uncollected poems spanning Ginsburg’s writing from the 1940s to the 1990s.
  • The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe – A chronicle of the experiences of Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, who traveled across the country in a colorfully painted school bus, encountering famous figures and consuming psychedelic drugs.
  • The Lyrics 1961-2012 by Bob Dylan – A comprehensive volume of Dylan’s lyrics, from the start of his career to the present day, with the songwriter’s edits to dozens of songs appearing here for the first time.

Also on display at the store and available for sale are some limited edition tie-dye P&P t-shirts. They’re going fast, so don’t wait!
A public activism of a different sort is emerging this summer, reflected in a number of books being released on such hotly debated topics as civil rights, women’s rights, and immigration. Already featured in recent events sponsored by P&P have been ACLU legal director David Cole (Rules for Resistance: Advice from Around the Globe for the Age of Trump), former AP reporter Stephanie Elizondo Griest (All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands), and law professor Paul Butler (Chokehold: Policing Black Men). An audio recording of Cole’s event is available at P&P, and videos of the appearances by Griest and Butler can be viewed on P&P’s YouTube channel.
Coming soon at P&P, to cite a few other authors, will be:

Plus, after a short hiatus, our popular series of Teach-Ins returns to our bookstore this August with a panel discussion on education. Stay tuned for details.

— Brad and Lissa