The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture

Paperback | January 26, 2017

byMichael J. Kramer

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In his 1967 megahit "San Francisco," Scott McKenzie sang of "people in motion" coming from all across the country to San Francisco, the white-hot center of rock music and anti-war protests. At the same time, another large group of young Americans was also in motion, less eagerly, heading forthe jungles of Vietnam. Now, in The Republic of Rock, Michael Kramer draws on new archival sources and interviews to explore sixties music and politics through the lens of these two generation-changing places - San Francisco and Vietnam. From the Acid Tests of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters to hippie disc jockeys onstrike, the military's use of rock music to "boost morale" in Vietnam, and the forgotten tale of a South Vietnamese rock band, The Republic of Rock shows how the musical connections between the City of the Summer of Love and war-torn Southeast Asia were crucial to the making of the sixtiescounterculture. The book also illustrates how and why the legacy of rock music in the sixties continues to matter to the meaning of citizenship in a global society today. Going beyond cliched narratives about sixties music, Kramer argues that rock became a way for participants in the countercultureto think about what it meant to be an American citizen, a world citizen, a citizen-consumer, or a citizen-soldier. The music became a resource for grappling with the nature of democracy in larger systems of American power both domestically and globally. For anyone interested in the 1960s, popular music, and American culture and counterculture, The Republic of Rock offers new insight into the many ways rock music has shaped our ideas of individual freedom and collective belonging.

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In his 1967 megahit "San Francisco," Scott McKenzie sang of "people in motion" coming from all across the country to San Francisco, the white-hot center of rock music and anti-war protests. At the same time, another large group of young Americans was also in motion, less eagerly, heading forthe jungles of Vietnam. Now, in The Republic ...

Michael J. Kramer teaches History and American Studies at Northwestern University, and writes about arts and culture at www.culturerover.com.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:306 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:January 26, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190610751

ISBN - 13:9780190610753

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"In Republic of Rock, Michael Kramer skillfully examines rock music as an energizing 'circuit' connecting disparate communities of San Francisco hippies, Vietnam grunts, and South Vietnamese urbanites in a transnational 'sonic space' that fostered civic participation on young people's terms.Deeply researched and with a strong theoretical foundation, Republic of Rock helps readers to think expansively about music's power to define social relationships, in the United State and South Vietnam, in the Vietnam War and on the home front. Kramer's smart, witty prose and interdisciplinaryapproach to sixties counterculture, American military history, and global citizenship make this book suitable for classroom use but also a great read for rock fans of any generation." --Meredith H. Lair, author of Armed with Abundance: Consumerism and Soldiering in the Vietnam War