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The Hippies and American Values

Timothy S. Miller

Publication Year: 2011

“Turn on, tune in, drop out,” Timothy Leary advised young people in the 1960s. And many did, creating a counterculture built on drugs, rock music, sexual liberation, and communal living. The hippies preached free love, promoted flower power, and cautioned against trusting anyone over thirty. Eschewing money, materialism, and politics, they repudiated the mainstream values of the times. Along the way, these counterculturists created a lasting legacy and inspired long-lasting social changes. The Hippies and American Values uses an innovative approach to exploring the tenets of the counterculture movement. Rather than relying on interviews conducted years after the fact, Timothy Miller uses “underground” newspapers published at the time to provide a full and in-depth exploration. This reliance on primary sources brings an immediacy and vibrancy rarely seen in other studies of the period. Miller focuses primarily on the cultural revolutionaries rather than on the political radicals of the New Left. It examines the hippies’ ethics of dope, sex, rock, community, and cultural opposition and surveys their effects on current American values. Filled with illustrations from alternative publications, along with posters, cartoons, and photographs, The Hippies and American Values provides a graphic look at America in the 1960s. This second edition features a new introduction and a thoroughly updated, well-documented text. Highly readable and engaging, this volume brings deep insight to the counterculture movement and the ways it changed America. The first edition became a widely used course-adoption favorite, and scholars and students of the 1960s will welcome the second edition of this thought-provoking book.

Published by: The University of Tennessee Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi

Many persons helped bring this study to fruition. Those who deserve the most thanks are Norman Yetman, Stephen Fox, Robert Shelton, and Pam Detrixhe, all of whom read and commented on early versions of the manuscript; my sister, Gretchen, and her family; and my wife, Tamara, and our children, Jesse...

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Introduction to the Second Edition

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pp. xiii-xxix

On a sunny afternoon in the fall of 1967, at the end of the Summer of Love, a band of San Francisco hippies solemnly filled a coffin with stereotyped artifacts of hippiedom and burned it, pronouncing as they did so the “death of hip.” Hip actually lasted at least two or three years longer before it...

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Chapter 1: The Ethics of Dope

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pp. 1-23

Nothing else was so characteristic of the counterculture as dope. The overwhelming majority of hippies used it, and most who didn’t approved of its use by others. The commitment to—as opposed to furtive use of—dope was the single largest symbol of the difference between counterculture and...

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Chapter 2: The Ethics of Sex

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pp. 25-39

In its use of dope the counterculture proclaimed freedom of access to mental pleasure. Sex did the same for physical pleasure: free people should express their sexuality as they choose. To the hippies, any special character that sex might have did not mean that it should be restricted. Sex was, rather, a range...

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Chapter 3: The Ethics of Rock [Contains Image Plates]

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pp. 41-72

Rock and roll was as integral to the counterculture as dope and sex. Rock swayed a generation both physically and emotionally. The hippies lived and breathed it and believed that it was the most important new musical form to come along in centuries. As Chester Anderson put it, rock “engages the entire...

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Chapter 4: The Ethics of Community

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pp. 73-85

Intentional community is a vision that has a long and honorable history in human culture. The Buddhist sangha, or monastic community, is alive and well after some 2,500 years, making it surely the oldest human institution. The early Christians practiced community of goods. In America, the original...

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Chapter 5: Forward on All Fronts: The Ethics of Cultural Opposition

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pp. 87-103

The counterculture never saw itself as just another subculture. It was the Disloyal Opposition to Establishment culture. And from the beginning cultural conflict was the order of the day, if only, as the hippies saw it, because the majoritarians insisted on confrontation with the hippies, as in arresting them...

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Chapter 6: Legacy

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pp. 105-122

Decades later, America is a different place than it was in the days of hip. Capitalism and what’s-in-it-for-me? values are stronger than ever. The airwaves and blogs are dominated by demagogues who ridicule peace, love, and cooperation. There is no flowering counterculture, no vital New Left...


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pp. 123-147


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pp. 149-156


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pp. 157-162

E-ISBN-13: 9781572337701
E-ISBN-10: 1572337702
Print-ISBN-13: 9781572338173
Print-ISBN-10: 1572338172

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 27 photographs, 8 line drawings
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 2nd edition