More than any other decade, the 1960’s have come to represent an almost mythical time in American history. Perhaps this is why we return to them, again and again, in books, movies, and song. The nostalgia for this bygone era is thick and long lasting, lingering into generations of young adults and children who were born too late to experience the magic.
Raised by two former hippies, I have been hearing stories about this amazing decade since I was old enough to teeter around in my mother’s worn fringed boots. Upon entering my teenage years, I discovered Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Cool Aid Acid Test and through it, Ken Kesey and his band of merry pranksters. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest was the next logical step in my counter-cultural education. Fortunately, Kesey’s sensitive and nuanced portrayal of those that society deemed unfit ages well, and felt just as relevant to a child of the baby boomers as it did to the original generation of free-thinkers.
Kesey was in many ways the quintessential hippy, and Cuckoo’s Nest can be read as a manifesto of the anti-establishment creed. It is fitting, then, that in our newest feature article, writer Paul Millward takes a trip to the place where it all began, the city that has come to embody a certain ideal of the counter-culture experience: San Francisco.
Like many before him, Millward views his visit to Haight-Ashbury as kind of a pilgrimage, a journey to discover some lost time and place. Join Millward in rediscovering Kesey’s legacy by reading our newest feature: Flower Children of the 60’s & Ken Kesey, Father of LSD and Hippies.
But even while tripping through Millward’s piece, don’t forget about the other, more mainstream side of 1960’s culture, featuring the literary wordsmiths of the hit television series Mad Men. Take a look: Mad Men: Creating a Perfect World on the Avenue of Dreams.