Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture
The book Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture is quite the time capsule. Not just in its content, which is all about material from the 1960s and 70s, but that it exists at all.
When I was a kid, I loved these kind of popular grab-bag histories, with weird little stories about things that happened in the relatively modern era but before I was born. This one rambles through music, notable TV shows (The Monkees and Laugh-In), movies (the well-known era representatives, such as Easy Rider, as well as the lesser-known stranger ones), psychedelic art (including a few comic snips), political movements, and kids’ shows (The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch). (When KC wrote about it, he went into more detail about the contents.)
But that was before the widespread use of the internet. Now, of course, one simply starts browsing TV Tropes or some other aggregation website, and you’ll get more than enough similar content. A book is no longer necessary, although the older members of the audience will likely prefer this format.
Each topic gets only a page or two, with large images, which gives the whole thing the feel of a scrapbook, particularly since several pages don’t have headings or titles, just launching into the text on a new subject. (Unfortunately, there were a couple of specific images referenced in the art section that aren’t included, which I found rather frustrating.) It’s not explained in the overly personal introduction, but it seems that author has been writing on entertainment topics for The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger for many years, which is how he’s gotten access to interview the various band members and TV stars mentioned here.
I imagine that those readers who remember the popular culture covered will enjoy having their memories jogged — I did, flipping around and dipping in — but those younger will find little reason to engage with the content, since it’s a personal history that expands into the generational. You can read a sample set of preview pages at the publisher’s website. (The publisher provided a review copy.)