Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics)
The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, forty years after its first publication, the essential portrait of America― particularly California―in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.
silence, which involves not only not talking but also not reading, not writing, and not smoking. Even on discussion days, this silence is invoked for regular twenty-minute or hour intervals, a regimen described by one student as “invaluable for clearing your mind of personal hangups” and by Miss Baez as “just about the most important thing about the school.” There are no admission requirements, other than that applicants must be at least eighteen years old; admission to each session is granted
wars, would we.” The door opens and a short middle-aged man wearing handmade sandals walks in. He is Manuel Greenhill, Miss Baez s manager, and although he has been her manager for five years, he has never before visited the Institute, and he has never before met Ira Sandperl. “At last!” Ira Sandperl cries, jumping up. “The disembodied voice on the telephone is here at last! There is a Manny Greenhill! There is an Ira Sandperl! Here I am! Here’s the villain!” It is difficult to arrange to
money can buy nor power for power’s sake (Americans are uneasy with their possessions, guilty about power, all of which is difficult for Europeans to perceive because they are themselves so truly materialistic, so versed in the uses of power), but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one’s own
from Vietnam. The graves filled last week and the week before that and even last month do not yet have stones, only plastic identification cards, streaked by the mist and splattered with mud. The earth is raw and trampled in that part of the crater, but the grass grows fast, up there in the rain cloud. It is not very far from the crater down to Hotel Street, which is to Honolulu what Market Street is to San Francisco, the bright night street in a port city. The carrier Coral Sea was in Honolulu
calendar, the months penciled on the wall with the days scratched off, May, June, July, August of some unnumbered year. Mr. Scott, whose interest in penology dates from the day his office acquired Alcatraz as a potential property, talked about escapes and security routines and pointed out the beach where Ma Barker’s son Doc was killed trying to escape. (They told him to come back up, and he said he would rather be shot, and he was.) I saw the shower room with the soap still in the dishes. I