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The Greening of America

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  218 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The 25th Anniversary of the Groundbreaking Classic. "If there was any doubt about the need for social transformation in 1970, that need is clear and urgent today....I am now more convinced than ever that the conflict and suffering now threatening to engulf us are entirely unnecessary, and a tragic waste of our energy and resources. We can create an economic system that is ...more
Paperback, 433 pages
Published October 3rd 1995 by Three Rivers Press (first published 1970)
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The Constitution of the United States of America by The Founding FathersThe Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the U... by Founding FathersThe Federalist Papers by Alexander HamiltonA People's History of the United States by Howard ZinnCollected Writings by Thomas Paine
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Mar 14, 2008 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Catherine by: Stuart Douglas
"There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act."

The Greening of America is about a Revolution. Unfortunately, the Revolution envisioned by Charles A. Reich has not yet come to pass. Written in 1970, when the country was in the middle of the Vietnam War, on the eve of the Arab Oil Embargo, of an economic downturn, and of social upheaval and urban de
Dec 05, 2007 James rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dirty, dirty hippies...(shudder)
i'm beginning to think this was a bad idea...i'm only 1 page into this book and it's already talking about how the youth movement of the late 60s/early 70s will be a strong and lasting one that will eventually overtake all ages and generations. the punk and metalhead inside me are crying their angry little eyes out....

okay, so a couple of weeks have passed, and i've finished the book, and i've had time to form a complete opinion of it and here's where i stand:

i got something out of reading this
Jul 02, 2008 Sandra rated it it was amazing
One of the books that transformed my life (another was The Chalice and the Blade) and gave me the idea for an unconventional solution which I lived for over one year.
Nicole McCann
May 05, 2010 Nicole McCann rated it it was amazing
i originally picked this up at a used bookstore because i thought it was about environmentalism in the 70s. i was a little confused when flipping through it a little later and not seeing chapter titles i would associate with that subject. left unread, i picked up another book by james gustave speth, a professor at yale, called "the bridge at the edge of the world." in that book speth talks about when he was a student at yale his professor, charles reich, wrote a book called...guess..."the ...more
Oct 07, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
I read this in the early 70's, during the latter days of the Viet Nam War and not too long after Woodstock. It was a seminal and at the time highly influential and formative book for me. I still find it so, and there seem to be so many parallels today with those times. We see the racist resistance of the Tea Party, reactionary thinking by religious, fundamentalist groups, resistance to equal rights and equal pay for women, and the on-going wars of capitalism, and suppression of the vote in a ...more
Somehow filled with both true moments of clear vision, and the delusional belief that America and the world at large would be turned over by the hippie ideology.

The observations on popular culture were genuinely good, and to a degree they still are. The evolutions of industry and technology and their role in changing habits and behaviors are explained in three historical phases of american "counsciousness", in an attempt to explain the mutation of values and the sense of self since the beginning
Czarny Pies
Aug 05, 2016 Czarny Pies rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Czarny by: It was very big in the early 1970s.
Shelves: american-history
Add four stars to my rate if you are looking for a comprehensive manifesto of the Flower Power movement.

I was greatly impressed when I read this ludicrous book as a 16 year old. Reich argued that wearing bell bottoms and smoking pot were progressive actions that would lead to a better, greener society. Fortunately, I was smart enough never to have admit having read it when I arrived on a university campus two years later.

For someone attempting to understand Hippies and the Counterculture of th
Aug 03, 2014 Cassandra rated it really liked it
Although 45 years old now, Reich's 'The Greening of America' is profoundly insightful about today's society. The first half In particular brought clarity to my understanding of political and social dynamics at play in the world. While his predicted cultural revolution certainly hasn't played itself out as dramatically or swiftly as Reich indicated, his third consciousness, with its refusal to be enslaved by 'the machine' and commitment to shaping its own unique lifestyle, is evident in a growing ...more
Tony Scungilli
Oct 08, 2008 Tony Scungilli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wowie Zowie. Published in 1970 and still very relavent, maybe minus the patchouli and lovebeads, but maybe not. I suggest you burn some incense, put on your bellbottoms and learn a thing or three about how we need to improve our shit, you dig?
Jun 30, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago when it came out. I was talking to my mother about it - she said "Everything the hippies said about technology was right."

So I want to revisit this.
Nov 13, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think everyone in the United States should be required to read this book.
assigned reading for Freshman year at Vandy 1971.
Mark Schomburg
The central theme of this book is that only by holding individual consciousness above routine can we hope to right the wrongs around us. The most interesting content is Reich's analysis of how western consciousness had evolved up until 1970. Based on events of the late sixties he projected a fuller kind of individual freedom to be reached which would be the best possible future grown from a bleak world. By consciousness Reich meant, in a way, the internal experience of having thought through ...more
Aug 07, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Poor Charles Reich. Not only did he confuse fashion with serious social politics, he wrote a book that didn't quite stand the test of time. Bell bottom jeans just faded, and just what did hippies accomplish, if marijuana is still illegal?
Well, yes, they did stop a war and hound an already beleaguered president out of office, but academics like Reich were mostly hidden in their ivory towers while the real revolution took place in people's hears and minds. At least, he was making some attempt to u
Jane Hanlon
Nov 15, 2015 Jane Hanlon rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated, enthralled. I read it about when it first came out. I feel it is a good read, has educational value and glad to see it is required reading in some schools. I considered myself a hippie at the time, lived in a commune definitely not quite structured in the same manner, which I did not agree all the author espoused. It was one book that did make me think in terms defining my life, along with Alvin Toffler's Future Shock, Shirley MacLaine "Out on a Limb, Edgar Cayce's books, The ...more
Richard Kravitz
Jul 29, 2016 Richard Kravitz rated it liked it
Really interesting book. Couldn't help imagining the image of this old man hanging out with a bunch of hippies, checking out the young hotties, free love and weed and sex and all. I remember the part about Judy Collins song "Both Sides Now" and the symbolism in it. Always liked that song but never really knew what it was about until Reich's interpretation.
Garrett Dunnington
Most definitely the best book on the philosophies of the counterculture. I don't even know where to begin... I am a philosophy major so I get a lot of the logic behind it. There's no need for me to criticize it because it contained very valuable information. I think it still has application-value. I am adding it to my top list.
Jun 14, 2012 Jana rated it liked it
Reich writes about the hippie and counterculture of the early '70's. His description of the various "consciousnesses" are interesting and in a general sense, right on, as also his theory on why we are so angry and partisan today. Spends way too much time on the significance of marijuana and bell bottoms.
Oct 08, 2012 Henry rated it really liked it
What the author says looked good when he wrote the book. His ideas were based on wishful thinking, as we can see the USA comsuming more and more fossil fuels, still making plastic packaging, overfishing, managing forests by letting in timber barons, managing grasslands by letting agro
corporations graze for almost no fees.
Kerstin Lampert
Dec 20, 2015 Kerstin Lampert rated it really liked it
Shelves: laundromat
The consciousness levels described seem a little '70's -ish.
I'm not sure I engaged enough to appreciate what the author was saying back then.
Will try another of his books and will update later.
Jun 11, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read it in the early 70's it was radically new. Reich was the professor of the Clintons at Yale. Much has been built on this book since then.
Ariftya Prayogo
Ariftya Prayogo rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2014
John rated it it was ok
Apr 07, 2012
Peachy rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2011
Maximilian rated it did not like it
Apr 28, 2015
Howard rated it liked it
Dec 07, 2014
Trannøn Gøble
Trannøn Gøble rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2011
Paul Smith
Paul Smith rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2013
Doug rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2013
Jay Glickman
Jay Glickman rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2012
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