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Current Reads

Taking Woodstock

Forty years and three days ago, hippies invaded Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, N.Y.

Book Cover OK, unlike everyone else in my generation, I was not at Woodstock. (Then and now, not exactly my idea of fun.) But as this week marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary cultural milestone, you will be carpet-bombed with endless blather and footage--unless you are sequestered in Guantánamo. Michael Lang, who with Artie Kornfeld produced the festival, weighs in with his bird's-eye, present-at-the-creation point of view with The Road to Woodstock (Ecco). The New York Times, performing one of the diminishing tasks at which it excels, rounded up a panel of commentators with shrewd opining such as Morris Dickstein's:
Woodstock the concert, Woodstock the actual 1969 event, may be remembered through a haze of nostalgia by those who were actually there, now approaching retirement age. But the real influence on America came from Woodstock the legend, set off first by sensational press coverage, then the 1970 movie by Michael Wadleigh, then by frequent anniversaries like the one coming up this week.
By the way, plans for a 40th anniversary concert have reportedly been tabled.
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