9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: There's A Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of '60s Counter-Culture (Hardcover)
I really, really wanted to like this book. It focuses on a vital period in our recent cultural and political history, and promises much in its tale of the relationship between the counterculture, rock music and oppositional politics. The book, however, is failed by Doggett's limitations as a historian. Not once does he explain what his argument is. It seems that he is convinced that rock music was a viable force for change in the late 1960s but never does he explain in depth how music influenced the wider political scene; nor does he offer concrete evidence or theory with which to back himself up.
Interspersed with material gathered from numerous interviews with musicians who were active at the time is a sophomore account of the politics of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It skims over the rise of the Black Panther Party, the decline of the counterculture and all the other usual suspects that pop up in these accounts. That Doggett cites a book entitled _Black Panthers For Beginners_ is indicative of his grasp of the history of the period and of his rather skimpy secondary research.
Ultimately, this is a large book that offers the reader very little beyond a cursory and highly selective narrative of the period. It might do if you are unfamiliar with the music and politics of the 1960s but anyone more informed should stay clear. Look instead to more intelligent works, such as those by Iain Anderson, Brian Ward, Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, Allen Matusow and so on. There is not much going on in Doggett's book.
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Initial post: 11 Apr 2009 14:53:29 BDT
Barney McRubble says:
Surely you picked up the wrong book for what you wanted? The subtitle "Revolutionaires, rock stars and the rise and fall of '60's counter culture" clearly states that the book is a study of the roles of rock stars and "revolutionaries" in 1960's America. It is not intended to be a study of the social conditions that exist(ed).
Posted on 8 Oct 2012 19:01:16 BDT
I thought Amie's review was spot-on.
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