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The Sixties

Book Review: 'Britain in the Sixties - Housing'

The Whole Tragic Mess

'Britain in the Sixties - Housing', by Stanley Alderson (Penguin Special 3s. 6d.)

Let us warn you right away. If you think that Mr. Alderson will provide you with a solution to this most pressing problem you are going to be very disappointed. This is quite a well written book, and informative, particularly when you remember that it spans only 174 pocket size pages. But having acknowledged the enormity of the housing scandal, Mr. Alderson gets bogged down in advocating the usual reformist measures to deal with it.

Book Review: 'Generation X'

Youngsters

'Generation X', by Charles Hamblett and Jane Deverson, Tandem Books, 3s. 6d.

The authors' avowed intention is to get young people talking about war, sex, marriage, drugs, politics in fact, everything that makes the jolly old world go round. Recent developments in mass communication mean that problems are more concentrated, more universally shared, quickly absorbed, used up and cast aside. This, say the co-authors, is the young persons' problem; the pressure of social and scientific development at the expense of biological time.

Mixed Media: Dennis Hopper

Four hundred black and white photographs taken between 1961 and 1967 by film director and actor Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) went on show last year at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. These photographs haven't seen the light of day since his first ever photography show in Fort Worth, Texas in 1970. Hopper used a 28 mm lens Nikon camera, and later said 'I didn't crop my photos. They are full frame natural light.' He turned to photography in the 1960s 'because the reality of the things going on around me was more interesting than the fantasies of the world I worked in.'

Hopper's photographs capture the Counter Culture and other historical, social and political events during the sixties. He carried his camera with him everywhere around his neck during this period.

What was he fighting for?

Phil Ochs as the Sound of the “New Left”

A new documentary film on the life and music of Phil Ochs, “There But For Fortune”, is being shown in several US cities now. It hasn’t come too soon, certainly, because Ochs today is largely unknown outside the circle of lefty baby-boomers.

Often Ochs is dismissed as a “topical” songwriter whose music, for that reason, hasn’t stood the test of time. “He’s no Bob Dylan,” his critics sometimes say. Dylan himself famously told Ochs he was “just a journalist” (as he threw him out of his limousine).

This image of Ochs owes much to his own statements, for he frankly admitted that the pages of newspapers and magazines were a source of songs ideas, saying “every headline is a potential song.” He underscored this by naming his first album “All The News That’s Fit To Sing” – punning on the masthead of The New York Times.

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