1969: Are You Still Listening? was easy to read in one sitting. The personal stories will prove emotionally compelling to all those like me who lived through that unique, nationally hysterical and tumultuous year.
I loved being brought directly back to 1969, with its many attendant memories and emotions: Vietnam, The Moratorium, Kent State, The Establishment, The Generation Gap. The stories and essays in the book gave these a context and a perspective that can only come from fifty years of hindsight. The collective, varied memory and perspectives of the authors selected to add to the book is completely fascinating and thoughtful. Kudos to Brent Green!
As I read, I couldn't help but notice how many of America's struggles are still with us. As I read further, I couldn't help but notice that like the Jokers, Smokers, Hippies and Dreamers, my worldview was well-molded in 1969, a time when America was full of ideals, change, and hope for the future. The book mentioned the quotation, "The more things change, the more they remain the same," which explains, perhaps, how 1969: Are You Still Listening? will let those who linger over its pages sip on the juice of the ideals and dreams of peace that we stewed in so many years ago.
The book title - 1969: Are You Still Listening? Stories and Essays - captured my interest immediately. As I turned the first page, humming Stephen Stills' words in my head, I remembered my collection of favorite LP album covers I had taped to my bedroom wall all those years ago. I instinctively knew I was embarking on a trip down memory lane since 1969 was the year I graduated from high school.
The book did not disappoint. Each of the chapters conjured up memories that I had not reflected upon in years.
When I read Brent Green's hilarious, but short-lived, foray into encyclopedia sales, I was instantly transported back to the sporting goods department of a store I worked in throughout high school. I held my own when talking with customers about handguns, rifles, baseball cleats, fishing rods & reels, and jockstraps. And $.75 an hour! What could be better?
But after high school, life got serious. Going off to college forced us to consider the consequences of our actions, take a stand on issues we barely understood initially, and to be deeply worried for friends struggling to decide whether to enlist or keep their student deferments in place. Each expertly written chapter of this book brings back memories of finding personal freedom and a higher purpose, political protests, politics, the antics of pledge brothers, drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll, and so much more.
My 50th high school reunion will be held in October 2019; congratulations and many thanks to Brent Green, Carol Orsborn, Jed Diamond, Richard Adler, David Cogswell, Robert William Case, Greg Dobbs and Bob Moses for providing me with the perfect gift for my classmates and friends! I highly recommend this book -- Vicki Cleary, Reviewer
It is our great pleasure to inform you that you are a Winner in the 13th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work. -- National Indie Excellence Awards, judging panel
"The scope of experiences and constructive critical thought represented in this collection works very well together as a sound appraisal of 1969. The essays demonstrate with grace, humor and poignancy a way of life and thinking that was a direct result of young adults challenging and changing the world."