Intrigued by my hippie posts and new novel, some of my younger friends have asked for a nutshell clarification on who the hippies were. They are aware that a kind of cultural revolution was taking place in the late 1960s, but remain a little vague on it. Here’s my one-page summary.
Let’s start with the Vietnam war, which probably more than anything drove the urgency of the hippie movement. Teenagers were being sent involuntary (through the draft) and in droves to fight, die, and get maimed and scarred, for no clear reason they could see other than to save the pride of some old white guys in stuffed shirts and suits in Washington. And it was ubiquitous – everyone in every neighborhood knew kids who went to Vietnam: hence, widespread anti-war rallies and public (and illegal) burning of draft cards.
The anti-war movement brought anti-Establishment thinking, which already had some…
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