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January 1967 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-00
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4. -o

I don't
dig; it,

Namier and Tv

The Hippies, by the Correspon-
dents of Time, e d i t e d by
David Brown. Time Incorporated.
by David Potter
America's burgeoning infor-
mation industry is ever on the
lookout for new saleable copy. The
Kennedy assassination, the Viet-
nam war, and now the hippies
provide easily exploitable oppor-
tunities for this not always ethi-
cal profession. Adding to the heap
of magazine and newspaper arti-
cles about this group of alienated
American youth, Time Incorpora-
ted presents its attempt to define
and understand the hippies.
The editor's note to The Hip-
pies states in part:
To find out what the hippies are
really like, and what, if anything,
they prove about this country, Time
assigned its reporting staff to sur-
vey this new subculture of Amer-
icanssociety. In all major American
cities and several foreign ones,
Time correspondents explored the
hippie world, its customs, its lan-
guage and (if it can be called any-
thing so formal) its philosophy. The
result was the detailed material -
some shocking, most of it, we feel,
illuminating - that isipresented
on the following pages.
Unfortunately, the book does not
live up to its editors' claims. The
information it contains is seldom
detailed or documented, the cor-
respondents have not "explored
the hippie world", and the results
are neither shocking nor illumi-
The first two chapters, one a
cover story from Time, tell us that
hippies are usually young, that
they reject most conventions of
our society, that they are relative-
ly leaderless, and that they evolve
from kick-seeking teeny-boppers
to hippies through the doctrine of
love and the sacramental use of
drugs. We learn little about the

hippies, although we do find out
about the authors. All of them
seem frustrated that young peo-
ple become hippies by them-
selves and without the influence
of obviously charismatic leaders.
Though the reporters understand
that hippies turn each other on
without directions from above
and that the hippie movement is
a reaction to the many objejction-
able aspects of our society, they
seem unable to accept the fact
and persist in looking for a
source of unrest which can be
The bulk of the book con-
sists of notes on hippie culture
f r o m Time correspondents
around the world. These reports
often sadly lack the "detailed
material" mentioned in the edi-
tors' note. One has the impression
that these "explorations" were
often accomplished in a day or
less: a morning of telephone
calls or visits to narco squad
agents, church leaders, and up-
town discotheque or head shop
owners; with perhaps an after-
noon or evening visit to a hippie
neighborhood to watch and .oc-
casionally interview the more
flamboyant members of the com-
munity. Very few on-the-street
interviews of hippies seem to
have been made. The reporter
either could not communicate
with the frequently inarticulate
hippies, or, as seems likely from
the superficial tone of the contri-
butions, didn't take the time to
One especially disturbing dis-
patch in this respect came from
a correspondent in New Delhi re-
porting on the hippies who came
to spend "Christmas in Kat-
mandu." The vague second- or

third-hand reports of the hippies
and their actions leave one feel-
ing that the writer never went
to Katmandu .But it is hard to
condemn a journalist for not
wanting to leave his hearth at
that time of year.
There may or may not have
been a report on Chicago hippies;
this reviewer does not know. The
review copy had a duplication of
sixteen pages about Atlanta and
Detroit hippies. This meant that
the East Village and Boston re-
ports and anything between them
were incomplete. It may be that
the missing section contained the
shocking material mentioned in
the editors' note and was
obligingly removed by the Chi-
cago Post Office. Doubtless the
excellent businessmen of Time
Incorporated will rectify this
oversight before the book is re-
leased. Just the same, anyone
who buys this book should check
to see if pages 86 through 119 are
Barring anything lost in the
deleted section, the most shock-
ing observation in the book was
registered by the correspondent
visiting Morning Star, a com-
mune near Sebastopol, California,
founded by a former member of
the Limeliters. He was somewhat
surprised to come upon a young
lady wearing nothing but beads
and a feather, and was still more
upset by the daily yoga exercise:
"Gravity does strange things to
nude, upside-down women." At
least one is assured that this re-
porter did dig down to some of
the basics of hippie life.
The center of the book contains
sixteen photographs, twelve of
them in color. Most of them are
attractive, in the style of Life
magazine's color photography.
However, even photographs can't
escape Time's famous punning
and jargon. For example, two
photographs show a young couple
dancing at San Francisco's Pan-
handle, which is "a park just a
short trip from Haight-Ashbury."
Finally, after a section devoted
to a description of the drugs used
by hippies and comments from
law enforcement officials and sci-
entists on the effectiveness and
abuse of our present drug laws,
the authors speculate on the ef-

fects of hippie culture on our so-
ciety. The consensus seems to be
that hippies are really not much
different from previous genera-
tions of alienated youth, and that
they are political activists in dis-
guise. In spite of their insights
into the complexity of the hip-
pies' motivations, the authors
still look for the magic catalyst
which will remove the hippies'
passivity and restore them to
controllable political activity. The
authors are unable to conceal
either their disgust with the hip-
pies' lack of involvement - they
are uninterested in changing
the old system to fit their new
models - or their fear that hip-
pies will indeed change and per-
haps replace the old society using
the new method (or non-method)
of non-involvement. "Why can't
they be more like us?" - that
is the plaintive refrain, and it is
as old as mankind.
One could collect the reports of
observers with distinct personali-
ties, and the resulting book would
at least be interesting. It might
even give the reader clear
glimpses of hippie life. Through
the manipulations of Time's edi-
tors, however, each report loses
its flavor and becomes yet an-
other homogenized account of the
superficial actions and appear-
ances of the most obviously hippy
hippies. Thus, we never get to see
the interior of the usual hippie
pad; we only peep into the more
publicized communes and homes
for runaways, We see hippies in
the Avalon ballroom, but not hip-
pies in jail or hippies traveling.
After the first third of the book,
both style and content become
Perhaps The Hippies is so un-
satisfactory because its editors
are confused about the book's
audience. If it is to appeal to the
completely uninformed, or to
those looking for novelty or
thrills, its tedium dooms it to fail-
ure. If it is to appeal to the be-
wildered segment of the public
which wants to know how to cop
with its rebellious offspring, it
fails because of its lack of in-
Mr. Potter is a fourth-year stud-
ent majoring in zoology at Roose-
velt University.

by Robert Thorne
English historical writing of the
last forty years has been domi-
nated by the work of two men,
Sir Lewis Namier and R. H. Taw-
ney. Behind them stand two other
figures, Freud and Marx.
Namier revolutionized the
study of eighteenth-century Eng-
land by developing a particular
historical method, group biogra-
phy. By examining the personal
interests and connections of key
Members of Parliament, Namier
was able to come up with certain
patterns of political power which
he found more revealing than the
MP's parties or principles.
The book in which Namier first
published his findings, The Struc-
ture of Politics at the Accession
of George III (1929), covered a
period of only four years; his
method, which was appropriate
to the study of this particular per-
iod, has proved less useful in the
study of other parliaments. First,
this technique tends to give a stat-
ic view of politics, mainly be-
cause it avoids an actual narra-
tive of events. Secondly, it often
slights the historical effect of
ideas and religious beliefs, since
these are seldom clearly recorded
in biographical material.
Of course N a m i e r himself
thought that these factors had
been exaggerated, and that when
ideas did influence decisions, it
was to no good end. Man's be-
havior, he believed, was deter-
mined not by principle, but by ba-
sic d e s i r e s: historical study
should therefore be based on
mass psychology.
Namier died in 1960. His work
is being carried on in individual
studies by various authors as well
as in the huge History of Parlia-
ment, three volumes of which
have been published so far.
Namier is associated with a
particular historical method, Na-
mierisation. Tawney, by contrast,
is associated with a particular
period, the hundred years before
the English Civil War, which have
come to be known as Tawney's
Century. Tawney believed history
was concerned "not with a series
of past events, but with the life
of society, and with the records
of the past as a means to that
His concern was with economic
change and the type of society
produced through such change.
Thus Tawney's works describe
the breakup of subsistence farm-
ing, the growth of British com-

a socia
this pr
way ec
side trz
ity, he
be r
ic exl
ture of
"The R
been e
all soci
We Ha1
lett has
so be s
Rise oJ
such as
very si
al and 1
ture be
of indiv
and Ta
focus fi
es. Tav
once s
but a
Many h
tory, i
now fl
torian 's
dent in
sity of

S .


0 October, 1967

October, 1967






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