BOOK Slouching Towards Bethlehem
MOBI ã DOC Slouching Towards Bethlehem ½ JOHNSCYCLINGDIARY ↠ [Read] ➱ Slouching Towards Bethlehem By Joan Didion – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780374521721This classic collection of journalism defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolutiThe essays feature barricades and bombings mass murders and kidnapped heiresses First published in 1968 to wide popularity this collection of essays and journalism is a time capsule to the 1960s for better and for worse and mostly relating to the experience from a California perspective There's no uestion to its significance When it was published I suspect readers were thrilled to have someone finally describe life in blunt terms Reading it today I found its strengths still lie in the authentic slice of life style Since I didn't live through the '60s it felt refreshing to read about the era through cold truths personal feelings news worthy events and overall mindset of the time This is day in the life type stuff which is much lighter and somehow comes across real than thick history booksOverall while I'm glad I read it for the educational value I didn't feel riveted enough to ever turn the page eagerly One of those you got to be in the right mood for
Joan Didion ☆ Slouching Towards Bethlehem EBOOK
Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780374521721This classic collection of journal My mother was a freshman in college when I was a freshman in high school Married at seventeen her 1960s and 70s were spent as a young wife and mother of four It wasn't until she divorced at thirty six the same year Ronald Reagan ushered in the folly of trickle down economics and the prison industrial complex that she discovered the sixties She majored in English and one day brought home as a reading assignment a copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem I recall the cover gun metal gray with white lettering I recall her clutching the book as though it were a lifeline a rope to a past she never had I felt the book must be some passageway to adulthood some essentialness of feminism that both intrigued and bored me I recall loving the title the evocation of the Bible that seemed almost sacrilegious to me a child of a conservative Christian family Slouching Bethlehem nothing but trouble can come from such a book I wonder what my mother must have thought of this collection of essays about people places lifestyles so radically different than anything in her experience yet which were happening simultaneous to her sheltered life While her days were filled with Sesame Street Tang laundry cutting crusts from bread for fussy her elementary school kids' lunches Joan Didion was writing of the counterculture of Haight Ashbury where runaways were drugged and traded as sex toys used up and strung out by nineteen; of Howard Hughes buying up blocks of Las Vegas like she bought boxes of Cheerios; of Joan Baez wispy earnest and reclusive in the Monterey County Courthouse trying to save her Institute for the Study of Non Violence from the suares who worried that the hippies would drive down their property values Did my mother dream California dreams? Did she wish for a New York interlude to be young and in love with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge such as Joan Didion had in 1960s? Did she yearn for the warm waves of the Pacific curling on the sands of Hawaii? Such freedom young Didion had such time to feel angst to observe others to write clear eyed and fiercely about her time and place in a world where people filled their voids with drug sex and rock n roll I imagine my mother reading about a gathering of earnest young activists and intellectuals reluctant about gathering up their books and magazines and records about finding their car keys and ending the day and by the time they are ready to leave Joan Baez is eating potato salad with her fingers from a bowl in the refrigerator and everyone stays to share it just a little while longer where it is warm and wishing she were in their midst instead of pushing a shopping cart down the aisles of Pak n Save filling it with boxes of Kraft Mac n Cheese and Hamburger Helper This collection of twenty essays originally published in a variety of magazines chronicles Didion's internal and external worlds at a singular time in modern American history Her cool unsentimental observations have come to exemplify California during the mid 60s and 70s her unwavering voice carrying the mantle of feminism—here is a writer a woman unafraid to admit how very angry and afraid she really is Or unafraid to admit a lifelong crush on the manufactured wooden John Wayne a caricature of the American manPerhaps it is this voice my mother held onto so tightly searching in Didion's words for the key to self expression independence and experimentation—all the things my mother missed as she moved straight from childhood to motherhood Perhaps she longed to belong to Didion's California where time past is not believed to have any bearing on time present or future out in the golden land where every day the world is born anew Oh don't we all?
READER Ë Slouching Towards Bethlehem ☆ Joan Didion
Slouching Towards BethlehemIsm defined the state of America during the upheaval of the sixties revolution Days after Manson died I kept thinking about him how he and his Family had summoned the darkness at the heart of the Summer of Love I remembered how surprised we all were that the drugs and the smiles and the flowers had come to this but then I thought no not all of us Joan Didion would have understood; Joan Didion would not have been surprised Slouching Toward Bethlehem a collection of magazine essays and Didion’s second book is about many things but mostly it is about ‘60’s California In its first section “Life Styles in the Golden Land”—slightly longer than half the book every piece but one is set in California a San Bernadino Valley murder profiles of California icons John Wayne Joan Baez Howard Hughes characteristic California political institutions the Communist splinter group the CPUSA the now defunct liberal think tank the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and the California nexus of the Hippie Explosion San Franciso’s Haight Ashbury district during the Summer of Love Even the short piece not set in California “Marrying Absurd” about the Las Vegas wedding industry is about California and its culture tooBut the California connection does not stop there Didion was a product of the Sacramento Valley the descendant of settlers who—before the Gold Rush—crossed the plains in a covered wagon Joan’s great great great grandmother travelled with the Donner party but unlike the Donners her family avoided the fatal short cut and instead followed the old Oregon Trail Thirty additional pages of Bethlehem some of the most personal of the book describe her California and how it has shaped her character and her perspective She recognizes that even for a Native Daughter like herself the oldest of California traditions are too recent to constitute roots that the culture of the ‘60’s Golden Land is always changing from orange groves to real estate to aerospace and later to high tech and beyond In her title essay Didion lays bare the predispositions of the lost freeway children who inhabit the Haight in the late '60's aimless disconnected from culture lacking the principles that might help them fashion a viable alternative they are people for whom any hypnogogic amusement any superficial enlightment even a dark savior will doYou can learn much about the ‘60’s from this book but its real pleasure lies in its elegant sinewy prose If there is a single clumsy sentence in this book I failed to find it and I am one of those irritating fellows who looks Here is just a taste from “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” a description of the San Bernardino Valley This is the California where it is easy to Dial A Devotion but hard to buy a book This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis has slipped imperceptibly into a belief in the literal interpretation of Double Indemnity the country of the teased hair and the Capris and the girls for whom all life's promise comes down to a waltz length white wedding dress and the birth of a Kimberly or a Sherry or a Debbi and a Tijuana divorce and return to hairdressers' school “We were just crazy kids” they say without regret and look to the future The future always looks good in the golden land because no one remembers the past Here is where the hot wind blows and the old ways do not seem relevant where the divorce rate is double the national average and where one person in every thirty eight lives in a trailer Here is the last stop for all those who come from somewhere else for all those who drifted away from the cold and the past and the old ways Here is where they are trying to find a new life style trying to find it in the only places they know to look the movies and the newspapers