In 1969, historian and cultural critic Theodore Roszak published The Making of a Counter Culture, a book that brought an entire generation’s ideals and aspirations into focus. Alan Watts wrote of it, “If you want to know what is happening among your intelligent and mysteriously rebellious children, this is the book. The generation gap, the student uproar, the New Left, the beats and hippies, the psychedelic movement, rock music, the revival of occultism and mysticism, the protest against our involvement in Vietnam, and the seemingly odd reluctance of the young to buy the affluent technological society — all these matters are here discussed, with sympathy and constructive criticism, by a most articulate, wise, and humane historian.” Now Roszak has followed up with a companion book and a new challenge. The Making of an Elder Culture (2009) reminds the Baby Boomers of the creative role they once played in our society, and of the moral and intellectual resources they have to draw upon for radical transformation in their later years. Seeing the experience of aging as a revolution in consciousness, this new book predicts an “elder insurgency” where Boomers return to take up what they left undone in their youth. Freed from competitive individualism, imperial bravado, and the careerist rat race, who is better positioned to forge a compassionate society? Fusing the green, the gray and the just, Roszak invites us to believe that “Eldertown” can be an achievable, truly sustainable future. Theodore Roszak is the author of fifteen books. He received a PhD from Princeton and a BA from UCLA and is professor emeritus of history at California State University– East Bay.
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