Wednesday September 23, 2020

This study of the 1960s is a trip worth taking

Charles Manson was – as The Bad Trip, James Riley’s excellent new cultural history of the 1960s, makes clear – the embodiment of a decade marked by violence, disorder and fear

18th August, 2019
Charles Manson, leader of the cult which carried out the Sharon Tate murders in August 1969 Pic: Getty

HISTORY: The Bad Trip: Dark Omens, New Worlds and the End of the Sixties, By James Riley, Icon Books, €17.95

Did Charles Manson kill the sixties? People often quote the title essay of Joan Didion’s The White Album (1979) to suggest that he did. “Many people I know,” Didion wrote, “believe that the sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive...

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