Book: 1963, The Year of the Revolution: How Youth Changed the World with Music, Art, and Fashion
Authors: Robin Morgan and Ariel Leve
Published: 2013 (itBooks)
Oral histories have an inherent problem in their structure since they rely solely on the revolutionaries themselves to tell the tales, who may or may not still be 100% coherent (*coughcough*Keith Richards, whom I love even more now that I know he wrote a children’s book with his daughter*coughcough*) or shed new light on things.
This is frustrating and totally awesome at the same time, as the authors can juxtapose opposite views, supreme historical ironies, and show just how much nobody knew what they were actually building in whatever order shines the brightest light on the process. Like how the Beatles were received and how the Stones were trying to make it, all thinking this wouldn’t last, they’d just ride the wave while they could, and the fashion designers who just made what they wanted to wear so they wouldn’t have to choose versions of their mothers’ clothes, and – Vidal Sasoon didn’t actually expound much on why he started cutting hair like that and his thoughts on why it caused such a fuss, instead focusing on who all came to his salon before they were famous and how they interacted with each other.
And this book is about 90% focused on music and about 80% focused on England. Which I’m totally not complaining about, because you have the pop and blues rock and soul revolutions coming from then and there. But I feel like for it to earn its title I wanted to hear more about visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, writers, and just maybe more regular teenagers from that era to get a fuller picture of how life for young’uns totally changed and why.
The authors do add some good connective tissue but only at the beginning of chapters. I like my history, even the revolutions (especially them) in thoroughly dissected context. Which, again, not a real problem, since this book is what inspired me to do that in first place.
So, back to the library.