“This is a book about counterculture, and that’s a problem . . . “
So begins Curtis White’s thrilling call for the revitalization of counterculture today.
The problem, White argues, is twofold: first, most of us think of counterculture as a phenomenon stuck in the 1960s, and, second, what passes as counterculture today . . . simply isn’t. Nevertheless, a reimagined counterculture is our best hope to save the planet, bypass social antagonisms, and create the world we actually want to live in. Now.
White—“the most inspiringly wicked social critic of the moment" (Will Blythe, Elle)—shows how the products of our so-called resistance, from Ken Burns to Black Panther, rarely offer a meaningful challenge to power, and how our loyalty to the “American Lifestyle” is self-defeating and keeps us from making any real social change.
The result is an inspiring case for practicing civil disobedience as a way of life, and a clear vision for a better world—full of play, caring, and human connection.
About the Author
Curtis White is a novelist and social critic whose works include Memories ofMy Father Watching TV, The Middle Mind, and, most recently, The Science Delusion, We, Robots, and Lacking Character. He is the founder (with Ronald Sukenick) of FC2, a publisher of innovative fiction run collectively by its authors. He lives in Port Townsend, WA.
“White’s provocative title poses a challenge. He’s saying political reformism offers modest remedies, at best, to mitigate the catastrophe upon us. And he says it with a range of insights—from Wordsworth to Adorno by way of Agnes Varda. Curtis writes with assurance of his sources, but far removed from a pedantic style.”—Bernard Marszalek, CounterPunch
"Reminds us that there are alternatives to the status quo. And, above all, we can draw at least some hope from White’s impassioned assertion that 'we are free to do something other than collaborate in our own destruction.'"—Eric J. Iannelli, Times Literary Supplement
"White has the courage, rare in our time, to associate the right and the good explicitly with the beautiful."—Mark Greif, author of Against Everything
"If White is suggesting some sort of Dada-infused anarcho-successionist movement, I'll donate a million dollars to his inauguration committee."—Mark Leyner, author of Gone With The Mind
“An intensely satisfying reconception of cult, culture, and counterculture. White’s call to kindle a spirit of impertinence and improvisation, to refuse spectatorial politics and "mass media sludge," is nothing if not timely. If you think the counterculture is merely a shrink-wrapped product of The Sixties™, then you need to read this book.” —Peter Richardson, author of No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead
"Curtis White's writing cracked me open like an egg, and challenged me to look beyond the parameters of my own sense of what cultural resistance really is. If you think you're a rebel, read this book, and think again. Read this important book and cleanse your filter. Open a window and fall through the floor. Smile with that other eye. Be impertinent."—William Rivers Pitt, author of House of Ill Repute