Friday, January 22, 2010

Twilight of the Mad Men

In his recent book 1959: The Year Everything Changed, Fred Kaplan provides a useful and entertaining account of the political, cultural, moral, and technological transformations that paved the way for the revolutions of the Sixties. Here is my review of the book, for the online edition of City Journal.


  1. ...if “free jazz” pioneer Ornette Coleman gets an entire chapter...

    "Freedom" was certainly the word. But I'm reminded of another exponent of the movement, the odd-ball "cosmic philosopher" Sun Ra, who once lamented the problem with black youth brought up on the "idea" of freedom, when it was clear that what was really lacking was any sense of discipline. From 1959 on, discipline was rarely seen, at all.

    Nor is it clear that the cultural revolutionaries always succeeded...

    Interestingly, 1959 was more or less the beginning of the Chinese Great Leap Forward, an economic plan guided by Mao Zedong thought. A leap that eventually led to massive starvation, and the real Cultural Revolution.

    The East is red, the sun has risen.
    China has produced a Mao Zedong.
    He works for the people's happiness;
    He is the people´s savior.

    Today, we have the strange spectacle of government school children singing the praise of a Mao-like Obama, and Chinese leaders lecturing America on fiscal responsibility. Interesting time, 1959.

  2. I know it's off topic, but did you know that it's the churches that will usher in Satan's New World Order? "Evangelical churches will be the chief instrument to bring the New World Order to birth." Check out the evidence at:

  3. On an unrelated topic, does anyone here know if THOMISM: AN INTRODUCTION by Paul Grenet is a volume worth acquiring?