FROM CAMELOT TO KENT STATE: The Six ties Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It by Joan & Robert K. Morrison Morrison

FROM CAMELOT TO KENT STATE: The Six ties Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An uninspired and mainly redundant oral history of the 60's. Joan Morrison (coauthor of American Mosaic, 1980) and her son Robert have collected 59 taped interviews of people talking about ""the sixties experience."" The recollections range from Vietnam and civil rights to Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, the changing role of women, etc. With a few exceptions (Clark Lewis and John Olsen on the early days of the civil-rights movement; victim Tom Grace's eyewitness account of the Kent State killings; David Malcolm's disgruntled trashing of Woodstock: ""It was three days in a muddy cow pasture with the toilets blocked up""), the memories here are dull and old hat. We've heard far, far better in oral histories like Mark Baker's Nam and Al Santoli's Everything We Had, and Jean Stein's and George Plimpton's Edie; and in numerous memoirs, most recently Hans Koning's compelling 1968: The Year of Hope (p. 1294). Here, what we have is merely a quick, depthless fix from the turbulent decade; despite the predictable offerings of big names like William Sloane Coffin, Philip Berrigan, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin, there is little to raise the collection above the level of the routine and simplistic. Indeed, several reminscences inspire a certain suspension of disbelief, particularly Dave Baker's tale of his days handling a K-9 dog in Vietnam. Weak.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1987
Publisher: Times Books