According to Kimball, the revolutionary assaults on "The System" in the 1960s still define the way we live now, with intellectually debased schools and colleges, morally chaotic sexual relations and family life, and a degraded media and popular culture. While some may think of the 1960s as "the Last Good Time", Kimball paints the decade as a seedbed of excess and moral breakdown.
I think Kimball is a middle-class, conservative and racist bigot who looks down on anyone who listens to 'rock' or 'pop' music; artists who are not rooted in the classical tradition; the masses, who he deems infantile and morally corrupt. Indeed anyone who does not agree wholesale with his constrained view of them and us. The whip, the old-school-tie and 'spiritually' moral guidance are Kimballs world. Don't expect to learn anything of Sixties America here, it's basically one long moan from start to finish from a man whose mind closed 50 years ago.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful
I loved this book. It was both perfectly written and narrated. In fact, I so enjoyed it I listened to much of it two and three times. The author provides an authentic, well researched scrutiny of the 60's revolution -- the roots, the personalities that came to influence and their motives, coalescing factors and how they were unscrupulously leveraged and manipulated, and serious ramifications (many to which we seem blind!) from a time of unquestionable revolution in this country as pervasive and enduring as China's cultural revolution. For me, it filled in the blanks, unmasked some indeterminate forces behind the times then and remaining today, and gave me a clear perspective of something I knew but wasn't able to fully articulate until I read this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone of any generation to better understand either what happened to a whole generation then or how we got where we are today... and do acquire some outrage over lost values and that generation duped out of its integrity. This is an historical perspective not to be missed!
14 of 19 people found this review helpful
In this book Roger Kimball describes in great detail how the "Cultural Revolution" was launched against the fabric of our nation. True there are those who upon listening to this will begin foaming at the mouth as Mr. Kimball attacks and demolishes their cultural icons.
Whether one agrees with Mr. Kimball's own values is a matter of personal choice. One can not deny that the material he presents here is true. A group of cultural elites waged war on the values and ideas of a nation. Their ideas were hardly new. I was born after the events in this book occcured. That means that I and my generation have a lot of work ahead to undo the intense damage that our parents generation have done to our nation. Thank you Mr. Kimball for showing us how we arrived at our present day crisis.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful
I found this book to be one of the most difficult books to listen to that I have ever purchased. Even given some of the excess of the 1960s and the legacy of that time the author finds nothing redeeming in the times or the peoples. The book if mean and spiteful. I am not a fan of the cultural revolution of the 1960's and especially some of it's leaders. Mr. Kimball certainly exposes many of the leaders of the times but does so in a way that makes him look nothing but hateful. I feel that despite the execess of the times there were some good things that came of it. I could not wait for this bood to be over and forced myself to finish it.
9 of 16 people found this review helpful
I bought this book as I wanted a historical review of the 1960s. I didn't care if the bias was positive or as this personal self serving diatribe turned out to be negative. The author never actually discusses the history. Instead using an artistic approach reminiscent of Saturday Night Live and their skits on bad English plays, the author only focuses on how immoral the main characters were in the 60s.
I mean really, they were immoral in the 1960s? I am stunned! Isn't that the definition of counter culture? I don't care how immoral these people were, just as one doesn't think of this when looking at a Caravaggio painting. It was what they did and how they did it which is of historical significance.
The author puts himself in the role of judge and jury as to what good and bad art is, good and bad spirituality is, etc. The approach could have worked if he had simply stopped telling us over and over again - immoral! I want the evidence so that I can make up my own mind. Not to be bashed repeatedly over the head with the authors opinion which already today badly shows dating!
I recommend not to buy this book unless you are of a mindset from the far right and want to hear the sixties described in terms such as detritus and the like. I must confess that despite my best efforts I was only able to listen to 100 minutes before deleting this so called "book."
5 of 9 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
Nobody but a bigot and a 14th Century monk can honestly enjoy this book.
What was most disappointing about Roger Kimball’s story?
It is garbage.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
None. OK. It was read well.
Any additional comments?
I can't finish it. This is such revisionist, reactionary trash that I am afraid I might end up taking some of it as serious scholarship. It isn't.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful