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Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  35 reviews
This is a compelling story of the experiences of three young women who attended the University of California at Berkeley and became caught up in the tumultuous changes of the Sixties. Sara Davidson follows the three—Susie, Tasha, and Sara herself—from their first meeting in 1962, through the events that "radicalized" them in unexpected ways in the decade after the years in ...more
Paperback, 381 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by University of California Press (first published 1977)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  388 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Harriet Wrye
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This revival of the original Sixties chronicle reads, to me, even better this time around. While Sara and I were both at Berkeley at nearly the same time, she was really THERE in the middle of things--she is a fine journalist and her visitations back with the roommates she shared and the lives they led that epitomized the feminist awakening, the political activism, the sexual revolution--all with such a sense of immediacy of real lives known and lived.
Billie Johnson
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorite books...I've read all of Sara Davidson's books and enjoyed them but this is tops, in my opinion. It really captures the the times, the confusion, the determination of our generation to make a change on the world and leave our mark.
Terri
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life when I was 14. It was about three women and the way their lives were led during the 60's. What the lesson was for me was that women can be whoever they wanted to be. That sometimes things happen and we learn from those events. I think Sara is a good writer who has a unique voice.
Paula
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Still one of my all time favorites --
Terri Hermes
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Down memory lane

The times have certainly changed, seems like yesterday! A very good book and true to the hippie era and the feminist awakening!
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
Published in 1977, this book has surely become a classic Sixties tell-all, featuring three women's journeys through their Berkley college years and beyond, taking the reader from about 1963 - 1973. Davidson is an ace journalist who was turned down by the New York Times after working as the New York correspondent for the Boston Globe, but she made the leap to inspired freelance writing and was paid well by Harpers and other magazines for her coverage of the counterculture. Davidson lets it all ha ...more
Trish
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you came of age in the Sixties, the book gives you a compelling look back into that amazing era. Berkeley, which seemed a Mecca to me, protests first for Civil Rights and next for peace in VietNam, riots and demonstrations, teargas and water hoses, love, drugs, bell-bottom pants--all the memories rushed back when I read Davidson's book. We wanted to change the world, and look what has happened to it. Thank goodness I had my two little children to look after; otherwise, I would have joined a c ...more
Rhode
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read it repeatedly as a young woman, although it was about the generation just ahead of mine. It was one of the few places I could see women, who were not in the entertainment industry, making their way through life without immediately coupling up.
Mary Ann
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: folks interested in the sixties
I really enjoyed this book, and have reread it as well. Interesting look at the sixties from a young woman who came of age during that time.
Edward
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first read Davidson's book around 30 years ago. I enjoyed it then and enjoyed reading it again. It was interesting to again read about the energetic idealism of the 60s youth but their myopic view of the world, like the one that was between San Francisco and New York City. However, many of the things they were working so hard for have worked their way into today's society, the abolishment of the draft, women's liberation, and voting rights for eighteen year olds to name a few. It is good histo ...more
Torie
Apr 12, 2007 rated it did not like it
This book is awful. If the main characters, three friends who meet at Berkeley in the sixties and follow divergent paths through that era, are actually interesting people, this book makes them seem like total idiots. It reads like a trashy romance novel, so that eventually every time a male character enters the story, I could be assured that the event would be followed with "we made love.." Not that there's anything wrong with plentiful sex, but the womens' lives are ultimately supremely directe ...more
Mary
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes non-fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
This book follows the lives and friendships of three young women from their first meeting with each other in 1962 at the University of California at Berkley through the events that "radicalized" them all after college. They all were living during the tumultuous decade known as the "Swinging Sixties" in the "birthplace" of many radical movements - Berkley. Susie is a young woman just becoming involved with the Free Speech Movement in Berkley and finds herself navigating through the early struggle ...more
A.B. Turner
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was in my late teens and it changed my perception of so many issues, from being politically aware through the changing place of women in society, right down to listening to the music of the time and gaining a real appreciation of those artists. The book is just a masterclass on how to tell the story of a generation through the eyes of the three main protagonists.
Each woman, Sara, Susie and Tasha are all deftly described, as they grow you grow with them, Ms Davidson makes
...more
LadyCalico
May 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shallow, rambling book about the empty, wasted lives of four spoiled, superficial, self-absorbed skanks who are taking way too long to grow up and grow a brain. There may be an off-chance one of them may have taken her nose out of her own navel long enough to learn the importance of relationship, but I'm not sure. If ever I thought that being the center of the universe might be fun, this book disabused me of that notion and shows that narcissism is merely boring. I hope they all got a little mor ...more
Sam Romilly
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
On the one hand I really liked the way that special 60s period was described. It gives an insight into exactly what went on and what people felt and talked about. Also very revealing to have the view completely from a women's perspective and to recognise how arrogant, childish and selfish men were at that time, yet this was accepted as the norm. What was less good about the book was the reference to practically every cultural and political event at the time in passing rather than making any atte ...more
Jester
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
So many opportunities to discuss important events of the 60s, but the author focused on sexual relationships and judgments on them. The author and her other two subjects led such varied lives that touched on the time period, but trivial matters are conveyed. Tasha created several sculptures? Great. Tell us about those. Davidson chose not to. Sara was in the performer's tent at Woodstock? Sounds like she would have many stories. Not one of them is in the book. Sara was able to choose her stories ...more
Nancy
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Another reread. I first read this book when it first came out around 1977. Now, I am reading it as a prelude to Davidson’s latest book, Leap!: What Will We Do With The Rest of Our Lives? Loose Change chronicles the lives of three women, including Sara herself, for the 10 years beginning with college in the 1960’s. I could identify with some of the book, though I was younger and less radical than these women. The part that bothered me, though, was the women’s dependency on men. This was apparentl ...more
Eliza
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A favourite subject and time period and Davidson writes well. The main thing I take away from this is how little the human condition changes....and yet we seem to be less adventurous and more conformist than these women, elitist as they are (which may seem a strange choice of adjective but whether they like the description or no the worlds they represent were not, and are not, typical). Absorbing and interesting.
Elizabeth
May 14, 2008 rated it liked it
I thought the writing was kind of awkward, considering it was written by an established journalist. Susie's voice would go from being cryptic and slangy to sounding straight like Sara's. The women's stories were really engrossing, though, and I'm not at the end yet, but I keep wondering when Sara and Tasha are going to finally dump these awful guys. If they do, I'll give this 4 stars. If Sara sodomizes Ram Dass, I'll give it 5.
Julian
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I've been borrowing this from my mother for like a year at this point, thinking I would finish it but never actually doing so. Still, that doesn't mean the book sucks. It's a fascinating glimpse into lives in the decades before mine, which always interests me, but I feel like I got what I was going to get out of it and I don't really need to finish. If someone else has read this and thinks otherwise, let me know and I'll finish it.
Linda
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I remember being fascinated by this book that dealt with three women in the 60's at Berkeley (drugs, sex, women's lib, political revolution, and Viet Nam.) I couldn't put it down and told all my friends to read it. They were as engrossed as I was.
Shellye M.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I discovered this book in the mid-70's when I was still in high school. I loved it! A great introduction to the times that had just passed, and it gave great context to the adult world I was about to enter. I've re-read it many times, and recommended it to all my friends.
jeffrey
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
"You're so vain" could be the alternate title of this nonfiction narrative of three self-absorbed, navel gazing, narcissistic aesthetes. The author does indeed give a good feel of the times. But, by the long anticipated end to the footslog, I had come to truly despise the characters.
Escroston
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Read this in college and really enjoyed it. I think I did read it again a few years after college. Good beach book!
samantha
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lost interest over halfway through... great book for women of all ages, though.
Laurel-Rain
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A great historic chronicle of young women in the sixties, and how events shaped their lives.
Pippa
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism, biography
Interesting book.
Ro
Nov 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This has a description of UC Davis' first whole earth festival.
Katie
Aug 29, 2007 rated it liked it
not my fave...but a good story.
Ginger
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A compelling look at, what can I say, my generation.
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Loose Change - Women in the Sixties 1 6 Aug 19, 2008 02:34PM  
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Sara was born in 1943 and grew up in California. She went to Berkeley in the Sixties, where the rite of passage was to "get stoned, get laid and get arrested."

After Berkeley she headed for New York to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her first job was with the Boston Globe, where she became a national correspondent, covering everything from the election campaigns of Bobby Kennedy
...more