DAYBREAK by Joan Baez


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Peace, brotherhood, honesty, love, joy, truth. . . inevitable themes in this fragmented autobiography by the folksinging spokesman for civil liberties and passive resistance. A mystic mixture, Miss Baez was the middle child, daughter of a Scottish gypsy and a Mexican pacifist. Her father, a physicist, was constantly on the move and her playgrounds extended from the gardens of southern California to the squalor of Baghdad. Ungainly, often sick, and haunted by unreasonable, unnamable terrors, the best she had to offer was, as her mother hopefully reminded her, ""a million dollar smile,"" now backed by a million dollar voice which is usually protesting in some form or another when not singing. She discusses how she met her guru, Ira, through Quaker meetings, her passion for pacifism and hope for the ""Institute for the Study of Nonviolence"" so far ""a glorious flop. The only thing that's been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence""; her lack of interest in drugs; her tremendous concern for the future of man. But most effective are the interspersed dialogues--with fellow inmates in prison; group therapy sessions; a confrontation on a plane with people who equate pacifist with communist; an evening with a young man who had gambled five years of his life for a cause. There is genuine awareness here, a sensibility that does reach out and will be listened to, if not always agreed with.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1968
Publisher: Dial