Forget Tom Brokaw. Yes, he just finished a book about 1968 -- just like he did with the so-called Greatest Generation, the World War II generation -- but I don't think he's the one for the job on the 1960s. I vote for the poet Ed Sanders. Brokaw may be likeable, but he's a stiff; hearing him "rap" about the 1960s is like hearing a nun talk about multiple orgasms. Unlike Brokaw, Ed Sanders was on the cultural and political frontlines that year; a co-founder of the avant-folk group, The Fugs, and the Youth International Party (the Yippees!), a scholar who wrote "The Family," about the Manson Gang, and a damn funny guy to boot. Ed has my vote.
"Ed Sanders was in Prague last week as an early teaser to next summer’s Prague Writers’ Festival, an event that will be wholly focused on that annus terribilis, 1968 — a year Sanders remembers very well. 'It was a strange, schizophrenic time,' Sanders told an audience that gathered for his slide lecture at the American Center. 'There was all this revolutionary fervor, and then there was all the rest.
"That “rest” was considerable: Vietnam, massacres in My Lai and Mexico City, Biafra, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F. Kennedy, the bloody riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, not to mention epic riots in Paris and London. In New York City, writer Valerie Solonas gunned down Andy Warhol, while in Baghdad a coup d’état propelled a young, unknown man named Saddam Hussein into power."
-- from the Prague Post, December 12th, 2007.
For the rest of the story, click here
For more on The Fugs:
Ed's website, the Woodstock Journal