Impact of Sixties Counterculture on World History: Overlooked Sources

By Eric Paul Noble (May 2019)



Historians are a divergent lot, with varying interests and philosophical grounding. But it’s fair to say they share one epistemological concern—that limited resources and perspectives at the time of their writing will detrimentally affect their historical judgments. The world historian William McNeil provides a salutary example. In the 1991 republication of his classic Rise of the West, McNeil wrote a new introduction with a mea culpa worthy of notice by historians no matter what their chronological period or thematic focus of research. McNeil admits to several mistakes he made in the first edition—the most egregious being his slighting the role of China and Chinese civilization in the first half of the second millennium—”but my ignorance (and residual Eurocentrism) hid this from me in 1963.”[1]

At the outset of the phenomenon that was called the Sixties Counterculture, three historians offered their comments on the significance of the events they were witnessing.[2] Theodore Roszak was a San Francisco Bay Area historian who had taught at San Francisco State College and finished his academic career at the East Bay campus of the California State University. Roszak wrote the book that popularized the term ‘counterculture’ in 1969. The second of our three historians, Arnold Toynbee, the preeminent historian of civilization, offered his commentary at the end of his long career in a series of newspaper articles over a period of a few days in the spring of 1967 during his semester appointment at Stanford University. Third, Kenneth Rexroth was practically a local Bay Area institution by the mid-1960s and his comments on the emerging counterculture appeared regularly in his weekly newspaper columns. All three of these historians shared similar views on the significance of the counterculture to American society and to world history. All three have seemingly been lost to subsequent historical interpretation. This paper will review their analyses of the Sixties counterculture in an attempt to resurrect interpretations that need to be incorporated in the history of that period.

Roszak’s work is better known among historians of the Sixties than the other two in this retrospective. In 1969, he published The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society.[3] He was ebullient on the prospects of the younger generation in the midst of the Sixties crises that were confronting America and the West generally. He believed “that the alienated young are giving shape to something that looks like the saving vision our endangered civilization requires.”[4] Twenty-five years after the initial publication of Counter Culture, Roszak wrote a “New Introduction” to accompany its 1995 reprinting. That span of twenty-five years was a crucial moment in American and world history and Roszak (the only one of our three historians still alive in 1995) offered his view of the changes that had taken place in American society. His sentiments were downright melancholic on the prospects of American (if not Western) society and he suggested that reaction to the counterculture was at the root of this situation.

Toynbee (who died in 1975) and Rexroth (d. 1982) didn’t have the advantage of hindsight that Roszak (d. 2011) did. Yet, their comments will serve to help understand the meaning of the counterculture to American and world society.

Theodore Roszak

Theodore Roszak wrote The Making of a Counter Culture during the period of the 1960s when American society fractured along ideological fault lines. Commentators were eager to explain the abrupt end of the social consensus of white middle-class America that had dominated the post-World War II landscape. Roszak, writing as a professional historian but also as someone sympathetic to the Sixties social movements, offered his analysis of the historical roots of the youth movement he called a ‘counter culture.’ Roszak himself was a decade older than most of the participants in the counterculture, and at one point turns aside from his narrative to question the role of an “elder” committed to “radical social change”—specifically in approaching the youthful foibles that he describes in minute detail as part of the adolescent trends of the day.[5] His answer is to lay aside the utter cynicism of his generation and to see in “beat-hip bohemianism” the salvation of nothing less than Western Civilization from an “anti-utopian” future of “dismal despotisms” in which all “Reason, Reality, Progress, and Knowledge” will be appropriated by the technocratic apparatus of modern society.[6] Indeed, Roszak sees his role as teacher of the “alienated young … to educate them in what they are about.”[7]

Roszak’s Counter Culture was published in 1969 and then reissued with a new introduction in 1995. In the 1970s, the book was standard reading fare for college courses in the humanities. After he died in 2011, Roszak was credited in standard obituaries with inventing the term ‘counterculture.’[8] Although that honor should go to Kenneth Rexroth as we will see, Roszak certainly popularized the term that many associated with him. Even today, the term counterculture is used not simply in relation to the numerous social movements that emerged in the Sixties but continues to be applied to social movements in the twenty-first century that stand in opposition to the larger society such as Occupy Wall Street and even conservative social movements such as the 2008 Tea Party.[9]

Roszak saw the counterculture of the Sixties as part of a revolutionary tradition—rebellion against the social order, including the military-industrial complex and all the attendant amenities of bourgeois life. One of the important economic factors in the emergence of the counterculture was what Roszak deemed the “Age of Affluence” that began in 1942 with the United States entry into World War II and which ended ca. 1972 with the first worldwide shortages of oil. Roszak saw this Age of Affluence as a “daring experiment on the part of the ruling elites” to engineer a postwar consensus through economic abundance and conformity to the military-industrial complex.[10] What they got instead was a broad swath of the youth of the 1950s and 1960s who rejected the underlying assumptions of this ruling ideology.

The counterculture had a rich history as a recipient of decades-long genealogies of social, cultural, and political protest. It had far-reaching effects in American and Western society and left its traces in numerous social movements—primarily the environmental, women’s, gay liberation, and other lifestyle movements. Where the counterculture failed—and that is a question of some debate—was on the rock of political change in the wake of the anti-Vietnam War movement and the collapse of the liberal consensus. (Roszak puts it slightly differently.)

Roszak saw the counterculture as a reaction by the youth of middle-class America against “the technocracy”—a term he uses to designate “that social form in which an industrial society reaches the peak of its organizational integration.”[11] It is a society that is run by experts and which demands deference to expert authority in exchange for all the material comforts that a modern industrial society can provide. Ultimately this technocratic world-view was borne out of the “scientific world-view of the Western tradition.”[12]

Each of Roszak’s chapters delves into a different aspect of the ideological foundations of the counterculture in the guise of “a few of the more important figures” whom he argues are the “mature minds” necessary for providing insights to guide adolescent rebellion.[13] These include Herbert Marcuse and Norman Brown who emphasized “the primacy of consciousness in social change”; Allen Ginsberg and Alan Watts who represented the introduction of Zen and Eastern philosophy into the counterculture; Timothy Leary whom Roszak worries is the harbinger of a psychedelic consciousness that emphasizes the personal “over the public task of changing institutions or policies”; C. Wright Mills who provided the sociological underpinnings of the New Left; and, Paul Goodman who contributed a “Gestalt-therapy” vision of anarchism.[14] Even though Roszak has distinct reservations about the excesses of the counterculture, his overarching belief is that it represents a genuine “quest for some new foundation that can support a program of radical social change”.[15]

In the final two chapters of Counter Culture, Roszak critiques the technocratic world-view and proposes a radical approach to de-programming its overarching mindset. He contends that the Enlightenment created the “myth of objective consciousness” which divides reality into inner and outer realms and leads to the objectification of “the other” and alienation of the self.[16] The counterculture offers a solution to this dilemma in its cultivation of the “visionary imagination.”[17] Indeed, the solution involves the “mystery and magical ritual” that traditional shamans have contributed to human culture as a “form of experience, a way of addressing the world.”[18] It is the “beatniks and hippies” and their “instinctive fascination with magic and ritual, tribal love, and psychedelic experience” who hold the promise of breaking that “spell of the objective consciousness” that is overseen by the “regime of experts” and to “ground democracy safely beyond the culture of expertise”.[19]

Arnold Toynbee

Roszak wasn’t the only observer of the scene in the mid-1960s to comment on the ideological implications of the youth rebellion. British world historian Arnold Toynbee undertook a visiting professorship at Stanford University in the spring of 1967. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on his activities including lectures to large audiences at Stanford and at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, Toynbee wrote a series of three articles that were published in the San Francisco Chronicle and the London Observer. All three articles were singular reports of and his comments on the youth movement which he had personally observed while visiting the Haight-Ashbury on at least one occasion during his California sojourn.[20]  Toynbee’s three articles appeared in May 1967, one month before the official start of the “Summer of Love” that attracted thousands of young people to flock to San Francisco.

Toynbee presented his analysis of the “hippie movement” (his words) within the context of world history. Throughout the series of three articles Toynbee laid out his criticisms of mainstream American politics and culture in very clear and stark terms. He saw the world situation as dire. The conflict between Soviet and Chinese and American interests with the looming prospect of nuclear disaster was the largest threat in his opinion. On the cultural level, Toynbee saw much of the American way of life that repulsed him; as a historian, he attempted to explain the historical roots of these cultural traits which he saw as detrimental. For example, he traced the cultural tradition of conformity to the Puritans and argued that this tradition is responsible for the rabid “my country, right or wrong” brand of patriotism, not to mention everyday submission to authority (he cites driving regulations as the most pernicious of the latter).[21] Toynbee also thinks that the desire for money has led to increasing alienation of work from the sustaining nature of meaningful jobs. Instead, we have meaningless occupations that only lead to “purposeless, meaningless, vacuous, boring” lives.[22]

As the cure for these ills, Toynbee believes that the “Hippie Movement” holds much promise. Of course, it must be acknowledged that he was only drawing conclusions and making analyses based on the first bloom of the Sixties Counterculture. Toynbee himself acknowledges as much. In comparing some of the hippie beliefs and practices to the previous spiritual movements led by St. Francis and the Buddha, Toynbee recalls that, “The verdict of posterity is that no two human beings have done so much for mankind for so minimal a material return.” Toynbee then suggests that history’s verdict on whether the hippies would provide a similar return for the rest of humankind is an open question. “We cannot tell till the hippies have been given time to show us what return to mankind they are going, or are not going, to make.”[23]

If the verdict on the ultimate effect of the Hippie Movement was unknown in 1967, at least Toynbee saw very clearly the aspects of the developing counterculture that made him hopeful. He describes the individuals and groups that he encountered on his first-hand visit to the Haight-Ashbury. But first, he lays down a cautious remonstration. He holds out promise that the hippies will overcome the susceptible weaknesses that he thinks the Beatniks and the British Mods succumbed to—”sexual promiscuity, drug-taking, and robbery with violence.”[24]

Aside from his qualms about aspects that repulse him, Toynbee is enthusiastic about those aspects of hippie culture which resonate with his prescriptions for the modern world. First and foremost were the Diggers, a group who carried out numerous actions and activities starting with daily free meals in the park, the invention of free stores that blossomed throughout the counterculture, and a cycle of public events that defined what came to be called the utopian vision of Digger Free City. Toynbee was only witness to the daily free food, so he wasn’t able to study the eventual panoply of social practices such as the emphasis on communal sharing and alternative institutions and lifestyles to those of the dominant society. Nevertheless, Toynbee was attracted to the Digger vision which he described as “the expression of love between human beings as the ultimate manifestation of spiritual reality.”[25]

For Toynbee, the hippies were seeking “new expressions of man’s relation to the ultimate spiritual reality behind the universe, in order to find new ways of living and acting in harmony with it.”[26] He declares that the “hippie emphasis on love is genuine” and suggests that this is one of the aspects that can transform the American way of life. “Hippies are in revolt, not just against the war in Vietnam, but against the whole of the prevalent American way of life and ideology.”[27] Toynbee predicts that it is a revolt that won’t be easily bought off with offers from corporate America of monetary reward. Toynbee declares that the hippie revolt “is not so easily conquerable as that. Its roots are both older and deeper.”[28]

For the rest of his visit to California in the spring of 1967, Toynbee peppered his lectures with the insights he had gained in his visit to the Haight-Ashbury. At a lecture to 1,500 students on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, Toynbee warned in most dire terms that a “radical change in the ethical, moral and social habits of the world” was needed for any hope for survival of the human race.[29] Toynbee declared that ethical standards which developed five thousand years ago needed to be updated to fit the reality of a technological “world of mass transportation and communication and atomic weapons.”[30] He called for a “switch in emphasis from a focus on nationalism to a focus on the entire human race. We’ve got to stop this habit of treating many of our fellow human beings as strangers and enemies.”[31]

Toynbee’s newspaper articles in 1967 were the last occasion for him to comment on the “hippie movement” before his death in 1975. Perhaps the reality of subsequent events such as the Manson Murders in 1969 was more than his initial sense of hope could accommodate. Perhaps he was quiet because he had said everything that needed to be said. Toynbee’s vision of the “Hippie Movement” contained within its core the germ of an idea for a way of life that contradicted the materiality and meaninglessness of modern American mass culture. The fact that there were failures should not overshadow the ideas. Toynbee would possibly say—'ideas can exist outside history.’

Kenneth Rexroth

In addition to Roszak and Toynbee, there was another historical observer and commentator on the new youth scene that was emerging in San Francisco in the 1960s. This was Kenneth Rexroth, the doyen of the Beat literature movement that had coalesced around the coffee houses and poetry readings in the North Beach neighborhood in the mid- to late-1950s. But unlike Toynbee (and to a lesser extent, Roszak), Rexroth was first and foremost an active participant in the avant-garde scene—as well as a perceptive observer and critic.

Rexroth was of an earlier generation, having grown up in the 1920s when he pioneered the far-ranging and rambling lifestyles that would later be memorialized by Jack Kerouac and the Beats. After three decades of writing and publishing his poetry and critical essays, Rexroth was recognized in the local literary scene as something of a curmudgeonly avuncular presence, someone who had been instrumental in bringing together the luminaries of the Beat Generation. It was Rexroth who had suggested and then emceed the watershed event that defined the Beats—the Six Gallery poetry reading in October 1955. This was where Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Michael McClure and Allen Ginsberg first collaborated in creating an aural tremor in the ears of the avant-garde poetry scene. Ginsberg read “Howl,” his dystopian paean to the dropped-out fringes of American civilization which became one of the troika in the Beat pantheon.[32]

In 1957, Rexroth wrote an essay for New World Writing in which he put together the disparate influences that he saw formulating a vision of cultural ruin. Writing a decade before Roszak and Toynbee did, Rexroth even more than those two trained historians hit the nail on the head. He was describing the youth of the late 1950s but these were the progenitors of the movement that would fully blossom in the Haight-Ashburys and East Villages of the mid-1960s. “All of this youngest group have a good deal in common. They are more or less influenced by French poetry, and by Céline, Beckett, Artaud, Genêt, D. H. Lawrence, Whitman, Pound. They are all interested in Far Eastern art and religion; some even call themselves Buddhists. Politically they are all strong disbelievers in the State, war, and the values of commercial civilization.”[33] In looking forward, Rexroth ventured a prophetic pronouncement. “What will happen afterwards I don’t know, but for the next couple of decades we are going to have to cope with the youth that we, my generation, put through the atom smasher. Social disengagement, artistic integrity, voluntary poverty—these are powerful virtues and may pull them through, but they are not the virtues we tried to inculcate—rather they are the exact opposite.”[34] Rexroth referred to his 1957 essay as “the launching gun, the finger removed from the dike.”[35]

That was 1957. In 1965, eight years later, Rexroth announced that his prognostication of a cultural revolution was complete. In the New York Times Book Review he looked back at the “effective social force” that the “oral presentation of poetry” had become—in San Francisco where it had first emerged, but now worldwide including in the Soviet sphere.[36] Coffee shops were the venues where this movement was spreading, even to college towns in the “remotest hinterland” and “accompanying this is the most extraordinary proliferation of little magazines, most of them produced by some cheap offset process.”[37] In the first use of the new compound term that Rexroth innovated, he suggested that “Maybe this is not a youth subculture at all, but a counter-culture which has been developed mostly by youth simply because they were not already involved too deeply in the prevalent one. Suppose they don't outgrow it—what then? It's already spread throughout the world. It already provides a pretty complete system of life satisfactions. Its values contradict those of a predatory, materialistic, nationalistic, war-making civilization point for point.”[38]

The following year, Rexroth stepped out of the role of critic and assumed the mantle of instigator (as was his wont throughout his career). At the Campus and Community Day symposium, May 3, 1966 at San Francisco State College, Rexroth delivered a speech that would inspire a social movement of radical arts and artists that laid the foundation for a public sphere in the emerging counterculture of the Bay Area.[39]

Theodore Roszak Looks Back from 1995

By the mid-1990s, the Reagan Revolution had swung American and world history onto a trajectory consciously at odds with the social movements of the 1960s. Both Arnold Toynbee and Kenneth Rexroth were no longer alive to comment on the outcomes of their earlier prognostications. Not so Theodore Roszak. He was alive and well and writing as prolifically as ever. In 1995, Roszak penned a new introduction to a reprinted edition of Counter Culture. In this introduction, Roszak offered a fuller theory of the counterculture based on his historical analysis of the three-decade “Age of Affluence” in the United States after 1942. By 1995, the rise of the “burgeoning right wing” was most visible in the “unrelieved fury and vituperation of talk radio.”[40] His outlook is much darker twenty-five years after his initial pronouncements on the promise that the counterculture held for Western civilization. His prophecy of doom is hardly a whisper when he suggests that the backlash against the counterculture would turn its distrust of power against liberalism in the service of the corporate establishment and the rise of a perverted “one-eyed populism” that would scapegoat the poor.[41]

In his 1995 look-back, Roszak attributes several key mistakes that the counterculture made. The most critical mistake in his estimation was that the counterculture “grossly underestimated the stability and resourcefulness of the corporate establishment” which “outlasted its opposition and struck back with astonishing effectiveness.”[42] Roszak in 1995 outlines the strategic response of the “corporate community” that included a shift from alliances with liberal elites during the Age of Affluence to the active cultivation of the Evangelical Christian Right, many of whose members’ mission was to overturn the lifestyle advances of the Sixties social movements. Roszak contends that the shift of military spending and industrial investment to the Sun Belt states (in part to search for non-union labor) was a key propellant in this energizing of the Christian Right. The overall programmatic shift in the desired outcome for the “corporate community” was the “systematic repeal of the affluent society” to undercut the economic foundations of the counterculture.[43] This involved several key elements—the export of jobs that had created middle-class affluence in postwar America; the assault on organized labor that had prevailed in securing living wages and benefits; and the dismantling of social programs at the local, state and federal levels.

In 1995, Roszak’s dystopic critique of American capitalism envisioned even darker events on the horizon, including increasing homeless and jobless populations, and an array of right-wing think tank proposals for a new Social Darwinism (“orphanages, work houses, chain gangs, means testing, corporal punishment, public executions, company unions, and the iron law of wages”).[44] In a moment of prescience, Roszak warns of a new “populism” that scapegoats the poor and powerless rather than populism’s traditional enemy of “the money power.”[45] The counterculture’s attack on the “power structure” had been co-opted to focus on social programs, and away from the “corporate establishment” and the “war-making, surveillance, and police powers of the federal government.”[46] Roszak’s judgment is to the point: “What we have today is a one-eyed populism that fails to see the main source of its victimization.”[47] Roszak’s final indictment of American society in 1995, which would loom large in the coming decades and the rise of conservative media outlets was the following warning: “The heart of the ascendant conservative culture would seem to be solid money all the way through. And around that dead and deadly core, the most distinctive feature of protest is the unrelieved fury and vituperation of talk radio: thousands of self-pitying voices baying for blood—interrupted only for commercials.”[48] By the time he died in 2011, Roszak undoubtedly believed his dystopic vision had been corroborated.

Lost in Time?

If we take all three of our historians at face value, the Sixties Counterculture was a significant development in Western society that portended a radical shift in consciousness. And yet, in the current historiography, all three voices have seemingly been lost in time. In the academic journal The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, there are no references to Toynbee nor Rexroth (out of 146 articles, reviews and essays in eleven volumes to date). Out of the total corpus, only seven references mention Roszak. All are tangential.[49]

If we don’t find substantive references to Roszak, Toynbee or Rexroth in the counterculture literature, there are hints at the outcomes that Roszak predicted in his 1995 reassessment. In their 2000 neo-Marxist critique of Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri argue that globalized capitalism evolved in response to the countercultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s. They explain that, “’Dropping out’ was really a poor conception of what was going on in Haight-Ashbury and across the United States in the 1960s. The two essential operations were the refusal of the disciplinary regime and the experimentation with new forms of productivity.”[50] This challenge to capitalist modes of production resulted in the globalization response:

A paradigm shift was needed to design the restructuring process along the lines of the political and technological shift. In other words, capital had to confront and respond to the new production of subjectivity of the proletariat. This new production of subjectivity reached (beyond the struggle over welfare, which we have already mentioned) what might be called an ecological struggle, a struggle over the mode of life, that was eventually expressed in the developments of immaterial labor.[51]

Where Roszak had discussed “ruling elites,” Hardt and Negri substitute the less personified “global capital.” The impact on world history is the same; the only difference is its formulation from a neo-Marxist perspective.

If Hardt and Negri’s global capital forces lacked the specificity of personhood, Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains corrects that oversight in spades. MacLean takes the career of James McGill Buchanan as the central pole of her narrative of the far-right social movements led by the Koch brothers to bring about radical limits to popular democracy. Buchanan was the ideologue who developed the conservative economic philosophy known as public choice theory. MacLean argues that Buchanan’s theories were the skeleton of the program that became the “single most powerful and least understood threat to democracy today: the attempt by the billionaire-backed radical right to undo democratic governance.”[52] In this half-clandestine far-right movement, opposition to the social changes in America starting with the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954 was the engine that gave it momentum. For Buchanan, the Supreme Court decision represented the outcome of “legally sanctioned gangsterism” that placed individual rights over the rights of the wealthy elite enforced by the Federal government.[53] The ultimate source of this movement were the various post-World War social movements of the 1950s onward. Buchanan documents in exquisite detail the machinations and successes (with few if any setbacks) of the Buchanan-inspired, Koch-backed conservative right in the final and first decades of the 20th and 21st centuries.


This paper has reviewed the comments of three historians who had first-hand contact with the Sixties Counterculture. Their insights have seemingly been lost to history, but their assumptions and conclusions bear close consideration especially in light of some recent historical analysis that places the social movements that comprised the counterculture in the forefront of the decades-long social, cultural, and political rifts in Western civilization as a result of a sharply focused and highly organized counter-reaction by wealthy elites.

References Cited


Blumenthal, Seth E. . "Nixon’s Marijuana Problem: Youth Politics and ‘Law and Order,’ 1968–72." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 9, no. 1 (2016): 26-53.

Chapman, Adrian. "The British Anti-Psychiatrists: From Institutional Psychiatry to the Counter-Culture, 1960-1971 (Book Review)." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 11, no. 2 (2018): 264-67.

CT Staff. "Tea Party Movement: A New Counter-Culture." Campus Times Apr 1 2010.

Farber, David. "Building the Counterculture, Creating Right Livelihoods: The Counterculture at Work." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 6, no. 1 (2013): 1-24.

Ginsberg, Allen, and Barry Miles. Howl : Original Draft Facsimile, Transcript & Variant Versions, Fully Annotated by Author [in English].  New York: Harper & Row, 1986.

Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire [in English].  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.

MacLean, Nancy. Democracy in Chains : The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America [in English].  New York, New York: Penguin Books, 2018.

McNeill, William Hardy. The Rise of the West : A History of the Human Community : With a Retrospective Essay [in English].  Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Murphy, John P. "Feed Your Head." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 10, no. 2 (2017): 242-46.

Noble, Eric. "The Artists Liberation Front and the Formation of the Sixties Counterculture." The Digger Archives,

Rexroth, Kenneth. The Alternative Society : Essays from the Other World [in English].  New York: Herder and Herder, 1972.

———. "Disengagement: The Art of the Beat Generation ". In New World Writing : 11, edited by W. D. Snodgrass and Donald Justice. New York: N.Y. New American Library, 1957.

———. "Speaking of Books: Poetry Aloud." New York Times Book Review, Apr 1 1965, BR2.

Roszak, Theodore. The Making of a Counter Culture ... (1995) [in English].  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

———. The Making of a Counter Culture : Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition [in English].  Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1969.

Rycroft, Simon "Lightshows and the Cultural Politics of Light: Mid-Century Cosmologies." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 6, no. 1 (2013): 45-64.

Scott, Holly. "Youth Will Make the Revolution: Creating and Contesting the Youth Frame in the New Left." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 7, no. 1 (2014): 28-54.

Slonecker, Blake "Portland in the 1960s: Stories from the Counterculture (Book Review)." Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 6, no. 1 (2013): 116-19.

Toynbee, Arnold. "Hippie Revolt on War." San Francisco Chronicle (London Observer), May 18 1967, 1, 18.

———. "A New Challenge to Conformity: Toynbee on Hippies." San Francisco Chronicle (London Observer), May 16 1967, 1, 14.

———. "Toynbee on Survival of Human Race." San Francisco Chronicle, May 20 1967, 11.

———. "Toynbee Tours Hippieland." San Francisco Chronicle (London Observer), May 17 1967, 1, 13.

Woo, Elaine. "Obituaries; Theodore Roszak, 1933 - 2011; He Coined Term 'Counterculture'; Scholar Examined the Intellectual Basis of the 1960s Youth Social Uprising." Los Angeles Times, July 14 2011.




[1] William Hardy McNeill, The Rise of the West : A History of the Human Community : With a Retrospective Essay (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 379.

[2] Hereafter, the term will be ‘Sixties Counterculture’ or simply ‘counterculture’ as the convention unless quoting directly from Roszak.

[3] Theodore Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture : Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1969).

[4] Ibid., 1.

[5] Ibid., 41.

[6] The Making of a Counter Culture ... (1995) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 16 (pdf).

[7] Ibid., 17 (pdf).

[8] Elaine Woo, "Obituaries; Theodore Roszak, 1933 - 2011; He Coined Term 'Counterculture'; Scholar Examined the Intellectual Basis of the 1960s Youth Social Uprising," Los Angeles Times, July 14 2011.

[9] CT Staff, "Tea Party Movement: A New Counter-Culture," Campus Times Apr 1 2010.

[10] Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture ... (1995), xxiii.

[11] The Making of a Counter Culture : Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition, 5.

[12] Ibid., 7.

[13] Ibid., 46.

[14] Ibid., 97, 63-64.

[15] Ibid., 186.

[16] Ibid., 208, 23.

[17] Ibid., 240.

[18] Ibid., 148, 243, 44.

[19] Ibid., 265.

[20] Arnold Toynbee, "Toynbee Tours Hippieland," San Francisco Chronicle (London Observer), May 17 1967. This was the first of the three articles. The other two are: "A New Challenge to Conformity: Toynbee on Hippies," San Francisco Chronicle (London Observer), May 16 1967; "Hippie Revolt on War," San Francisco Chronicle (London Observer), May 18 1967. In addition to Toynbee describing his visit to the Haight-Ashbury, Herb Caen mentioned in one of his columns that Toynbee celebrated his 78th birthday at a private party where the local Bay Area rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service performed.

[21] "A New Challenge to Conformity: Toynbee on Hippies," 14.

[22] "Toynbee Tours Hippieland," 13.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid. The only problem with this Pollyanna view is that the issue of sexual promiscuity was the third rail in ideological conflicts. During Toynbee’s visit to Stanford in the spring of 1967, the local news was filled with the infamous five-week-long criminal trial against Lenore Kandel’s Love Book. The arrests of three book dealers on the charge of selling obscene material, i.e. copies of Kandels latest poetry book, had divided local attitudes. Pitted against the socially prominent and conservative Catholic hierarchy was the liberal academic community in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Love Book trial represented the last gasp of the conservative social establishment at banning such expression.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] "Hippie Revolt on War," 1.

[28] Ibid., 18.

[29] "Toynbee on Survival of Human Race," San Francisco Chronicle, May 20 1967, 11.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Allen Ginsberg and Barry Miles, Howl : Original Draft Facsimile, Transcript & Variant Versions, Fully Annotated by Author (New York: Harper & Row, 1986). Besides Howl, the other two members of the Beat Troika are William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Kerouac’s On the Road.

[33] Kenneth Rexroth, "Disengagement: The Art of the Beat Generation " in New World Writing : 11, ed. W. D. Snodgrass and Donald Justice (New York: N.Y. New American Library, 1957). Reprinted in Alternative Society, 1972.

[34] Ibid.

[35] The Alternative Society : Essays from the Other World (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972), 16.

[36] "Speaking of Books: Poetry Aloud," New York Times Book Review, Apr 1 1965, BR2.

[37] Ibid. Rexroth’s comment about the proliferation of small presses suggests that a study of the relationship between the little magazine and the later underground newspaper phenomena might yield some interesting correlations.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Eric Noble, "The Artists Liberation Front and the Formation of the Sixties Counterculture," The Digger Archives,

[40] Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture ... (1995), xxxvi.

[41] Ibid., xxxvii.

[42] Ibid., xxix.

[43] Ibid., xxx.

[44] Ibid., xxxi.

[45] Ibid.


[47] Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture ... (1995), xxxii.

[48] Ibid., xxxvi.

[49] David Farber, "Building the Counterculture, Creating Right Livelihoods: The Counterculture at Work," Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics & Culture 6, no. 1 (2013); Simon  Rycroft, "Lightshows and the Cultural Politics of Light: Mid-Century Cosmologies," ibid.; Blake  Slonecker, "Portland in the 1960s: Stories from the Counterculture (Book Review)," ibid.; Holly Scott, "Youth Will Make the Revolution: Creating and Contesting the Youth Frame in the New Left," ibid.7 (2014); Seth E.  Blumenthal, "Nixon’s Marijuana Problem: Youth Politics and ‘Law and Order,’ 1968–72," ibid.9 (2016); John P. Murphy, "Feed Your Head," ibid.10, no. 2 (2017); Adrian Chapman, "The British Anti-Psychiatrists: From Institutional Psychiatry to the Counter-Culture, 1960-1971 (Book Review)," ibid.11 (2018). Of these, Slonecker poses the most interesting question—about technology in the counterculture—one which I intend to research in my master’s thesis.

[50] Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), 274.

[51] Ibid., 269.

[52] Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains : The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America (New York, New York: Penguin Books, 2018), xvii.

[53] Ibid., xxiv.