SMILING THROUGH THE APOCALYPSE: Esquire's History of the Sixties by Harold--Ed. Hayes

SMILING THROUGH THE APOCALYPSE: Esquire's History of the Sixties

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With or without the title, subtitle, and the institutional backpatting of the introduction (Esquire ""reacted"" to the ""banality"" of the 50's; ""broke through to some dazzlingly fresh concept which gained for the magazine another inch of new ground"") -- this comes down to an omnium bonum gatherum which has appeared in the decade reflecting it. Surging in with the Kennedy ""charisma""-- there are some stunning pieces in the opening section many of which you'll remember: Mailer covering that Convention and the discovery of a ""hero central to his time""; Wicker's Kennedy Without Tears: Gore Vidal's ""Holy Family."" Some of the new ""epiphemonology"" -- Terry Southern on Baton Twirling at Ole Miss; a Pepsi Cola contest; Tom Wolfe in Las Vegas; along with celebrities -- Gay Talese on Sinatra, Rex Reed On Ava, Peter Bogdanovich on Bogart.... or Bellow on Khruschchev.. There's a section on the war in Vietnam; there are the three gaps -- Age, Color and Credibility; as well as a 30 page cum photograph (bad) inset on The New Sentimentality. Frank Conroy, Timothy Leafy, Styron, Baldwin, Genet are among the some 50 contributors concluding with the patrician, if not classical, confrontation between William Buckley and Gore Vidal with its serrating bitchiness. The book is too heavy for its case (and bulky for the bedside table) but the articles represent the high-toned quality of the magazine and just about every piece is a strong attractant.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1969
Publisher: McCall