The Explosion of Deferred Dreams, by Mat Callahan
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As the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love floods the media with debates over morals, music, and political movements; celebrations of “flower power,” “acid rock,” and “hippies;” The Explosion of Deferred Dreams offers a critical re-examination of the interwoven political and musical happenings in San Francisco in the Sixties. Author, musician, and native San Franciscan Mat Callahan explores the dynamic links between the Black Panthers and Sly and the Family Stone, the United Farmworkers and Santana, the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and the New Left and the counterculture. Callahan’s meticulous, impassioned arguments both expose and reframe the political and social context for the San Francisco Sound and the vibrant subcultural uprisings with which it is associated. Using dozens of original interviews, primary sources, and personal experiences, the author shows how the intense interplay of artistic and political movements put San Francisco, briefly, in the forefront of a worldwide revolutionary upsurge. A must-read for any musician, historian, or person who "was there" (or longed to have been), this book is substantive and provocative, inviting us to reinvigorate our historical sense-making of an era that assumes a mythic role in the contemporary American zeitgeist.