21 January 2014

Today's Read: 1963: The Year of the Revolution by Robin Morgan and Ariel Leve

1963: The Year of the Revolution by Robn Morgan and Ariel LeveCan you remember the year that changed everything in America, England, and around the Western world? A crazy-quilt of events were put in motion in 1963: skirts got shorter, hair got longer; music got louder, dance got freer; art got funkier, models got skinnier. Although they say if you remember the sixties you didn't live the sixties, dozens of movers and shakers beg to differ and have shared their memories of those heady days.

It remains a unique and prophetic coincidence—one that has gone unnoticed for more than fifty years. On January 13, 1963, in Birmingham, England, an attractive young boy band recorded its first appearance on British national television, dazzling viewers with an exuberant tune called "Please Please Me." That same night, viewers found a more cerebral experience on the BBC, then the only other TV channel in Britain, when an unknown, tousle-haired American musician made his broadcast debut by intoning a hymn entitled "Blowin' in the Wind."

Neither the Beatles nor Bob Dylan could have known it, but within the year their voices would enthrall millions of ears around the world. The Beatles would become the poster boys for a revolution, and Dylan would be come its prophet.
1963: The Year of the Revolution by Robin Morgan and Ariel Leve (HarperCollins / It Books, 2013, p. ix)

Quick Facts
  • Contents of the book: firsthand recollections of musicians, photographers, club owners, authors, fashion designers, filmmakers, and models who were on the forefront of sociocultural change.
  • Source of the material: Morgan and Leve taped interviews and then organized and compiled the stories into categories that take us through the months of upheaval (from "Awakenings" to "Aftershocks")
  • Who do we hear from? Eric Clapton (guitarist), Vidal Sassoon (hair stylist), Mary Quant (fashion designer), Terry O'Neill (photographer), Graham Nash (musician), Pattie Boyd (model), and many more household names
  • Genre: nonfiction, history, memoir, social commentary
  • Extras: three sections of period photographs
  • My thoughts: fascinating stories and memories of a truly revolutionary time in our recent history; loved remembering the music, art, and fashions of my youth (I had a Sassoon haircut in seventh grade!); loved the photos
  • Recommended for: baby boomers; children of baby boomers; lovers of music, fashion, history, sociocultural change, and modern history; note that the book can be read in bits and pieces or all the way through
Bonus Quote from the Introduction
This is the oral history of that year, told by the men and women who, with guitars, cameras, pens, brushes, scissors—and even mere notoriety—endowed youth with universal and democratic membership in a new meritocracy. In 1963, youth no longer waited, cap in hand, for an invite to the best tables—they simply built their own banquet hall. (p. xv)

ISBN-13: 9780062120441
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 1/21/14, 6:50 AM  

I love the intro and would like this book. 1963 was a year of such change. Great pick.

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/21/14, 7:45 AM  

I was just a baby in 1963, but I enjoy reading books like this, such a cultural shockwave.

bermudaonion 1/21/14, 8:54 AM  

I turned 5 in 1963 so I don't really remember it but I'm still anxious to read this book.

Laurel-Rain Snow 1/21/14, 8:56 AM  

1963 was a pivotal year for me, too, as would be the rest of the decade...and the 70s, too.

And yes, there are things I can't remember! lol

I would love to read this one....


grammajudyb 1/21/14, 9:42 AM  

I agree with Laurel-Rain. 1963 was a turning point in my life too. I was a junior in HS, fell in love with my now husband of almost 50 years and started my senior year. I remember the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. What a year!
I will definitely watch for this one.

Sandra Nachlinger 1/21/14, 10:09 AM  

This sounds like a book that would be great fun to read, especially since I'm a Baby Boomer. Thanks for making me aware of it.

Nise' 1/21/14, 10:41 AM  

I am smiling right now! Both of my grandmothers would say, "the year everything went to hell!". They were not fans of the 60s. I was very young, but influenced by what followed.

Literary Feline 1/21/14, 11:41 AM  

I imagine my mom would love this book! I think I might too, if only to understand my mom's generation better. LOL

gautami tripathy 1/21/14, 11:43 AM  

The intro interests me..

Here is my post

kayerj 1/21/14, 12:05 PM  

yes I'd keep reading since I enjoyed listening to both of those music icon's. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Daryl 1/21/14, 12:13 PM  

i remember it well ..

Heather 1/21/14, 3:31 PM  

That would be before my time. Love the Beatles, but Dylan's voice grates on my ears like nails on a chalkboard. My teaser: The Widow

Barbara 1/21/14, 3:36 PM  

I was 23 in 1963 and since I didn't get caught up in the drug scene (thank heaven), I do remember it very well. I fell in love with the Beatles and never really fell out of love with them. I was young enough to appreciate 60s music but old enough to avoid the destructive aspects of the Revolution.

JoAnn 1/21/14, 4:32 PM  

This sounds fascinating!

Yvonne 1/21/14, 5:04 PM  

I love books set in the 1960's and this sounds excellent!

Kailana 1/21/14, 9:42 PM  

This sounds great!

Shelley Munro 1/21/14, 10:56 PM  

Sounds interesting. I was just a baby, but it was certainly a time of change.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 1/22/14, 2:27 AM  

I'd like this one. Although I was a little too young to participate in all the early 60s fun, I do remember a lot of it.

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