“Fascinating…There’s a Riot Going On [is] a step toward drawing a distinction between the fanatic and the visionary, the image and the substance.”
Zachary Lazar, Los Angeles Times
There's a Riot Going On
Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of the `60s
978-1-84767-180-6 • $27.50 • Cloth • Sep. 2008
History (Popular Culture)
Peter Doggett’s vibrant There’s a Riot Going On is focused on a brief, uniquely turbulent period when rock stars, political revolutionaries, governments, and corporations engaged in a kind of PR chess match for influence and power on the world stage with mixed results.
“Peter Doggett’s There’s a Riot Going On is a lot of fun. . . . It needs to be read by anyone who wants to understand the significance of the ’60s or the role of pop culture. It is a very important book. . . . I will go back to it numerous times.” Mark Kurlansky, author of 1968 and Salt
Between 1965 and 1972, students and other political activists around the globe prepared to mount a revolution. While the Vietnam War raged, calls for black power grew louder and liberation movements erupted everywhere from Berkeley, Detroit, and Newark, to Paris, Berlin, Ghana, and Peking.
Rock and soul music fueled this revolutionary movement with anthems and iconic imagery. Soon the musicians themselves, from John Lennon and Bob Dylan to James Brown and Fela Kuti, were being dragged into the fray. Some joined the protestors on the barricades; some were persecuted for their political activism; some abandoned the cause and were dismissed as counter-revolutionaries. From Mick Jagger’s legendary appearance in Grosvenor Square, standing on the sidelines and snapping pictures, to the infamous incident at Woodstock when Pete Townshend kicked Yippie Abbie Hoffman off the stage while he tried to make a speech about an imprisoned comrade, to Lennon’s display of self-promotion when he auctioned off his hair on top of the “Black House,” Doggett unravels the truth about how these ambitious musicians weren’t always the “Street Fighting Men” they saw themselves as. There’s A Riot Going On is a rich, fact-filled, exceedingly well-researched social history at the nexus of pop culture, celebrity, and politics.