Originally published 07/23/2013
Aged with years of cannabis and communal living, Stephen Gaskin’s body is worn and his words unhurried. At 78, he walks with slow intention. But the spirit of this tie-dye-clad hippie philosopher — iconic founder of The Farm — remains vibrant.Ask him about the beginning, and his blue eyes come ablaze.More than four decades ago, Gaskin led a caravan of nonconformists across the country, taking his band of beatnik brethren deep into the Tennessee woods. They traveled from San Francisco and settled on a 1,750-acre spread of land in Summertown in 1971 to form their own society — a spiritual commune called The Farm....
Originally published 05/17/2013
Penny Lewis is an assistant professor of labor studies at the Joseph P. Murphy Institute for Work Education and Labor Studies in the School of Professional Studies at the City University of New York. This essay is adapted from her new book Hardhats, Hippies, and Hawks: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement as Myth and Memory, published by Cornell University Press.Decades after its conclusion, the U.S. war in Vietnam remains an unsettled part of our collective memory. Members of the military, veterans, scholars, journalists, and artists continue to revisit and reinterpret the war, assessing its historical significance while seeking meaning for wars fought today. Despite the efforts of our political elites to put the ghosts of Vietnam to rest, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have prolonged these discussions. Books and articles with titles like "Is Afghanistan Another Vietnam?" abound. The economic and political imperatives that drive U.S. foreign policy, the appropriate use of force, the domestic costs of war, the treatment and trauma of veterans, whether today's wars are "winnable" or "worth it"—appropriate or not, those are some of the many points of comparison and concern.
Originally published 03/11/2013
"Voucher schools in Louisiana and Indiana are using a “U.S. History” textbook in their eighth grade classes that teaches that the “hippies” of the 1960s were draft dodgers who were rude, didn’t bathe, and worshipped Satan." [Check out a photo of the section on Satanic hippies here.]The offending hippie textbook, entitled "America: The Land I Love" and published by A Beka Books, a company affiliated with Pensacola Christian College, is only one of a number of textbooks produced by evangelical Christian publishers and used (at taxpayer expense) in voucher school programs in Louisiana (Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation last year which implemented one of the most ambitious voucher programs in the country).These headlines summarize the content of the most popular textbooks (most of the examples below come from books published by Bob Jones University Press):
- World War I records reveal myths and realities of soldiers with ‘shell shock’
- Were Neanderthals a sub-species of modern humans? New research says no
- Irish archaeological sites explain huge European population fall
- Reactions to JFK Assassination Included Fear of Possible Soviet Strike against U.S.; Desire to "Bond" with LBJ
- Swiss Museum to Announce Decision on Nazi-Looted Art Next Week
- Middle East Studies Association Fights a Rising Tide of Critics
- Juan Cole says the postwar Middle East governments were modeled on the Soviet Union, though not communist (interview)
- Ted Widmer picks the 5 best presidential books worth reading
- AHA backs California's LGBT History law
- Cultural historian traces history of baby food