There's never been a more comprehensive, more entertaining chronicle of the hippy, revolutionary, incendiary era of the late 60s and early 70s. It's all here – the birth of all the new passions of the period – the counterculture, Black Power, the environmental movement, Women's Liberation, Gay Pride, the animal-rights movement, the Sexual Revolution, the Anti-War movement, and all the new revolutionary organizations – the Black Panthers and Weathermen in America, the FLQ in Québec, the IRA and UVF in Ireland, the Baader-Meinhof Gang in Germany, the Red Army in Japan, the Tupamaros in Uruguay, the Montoneros in Argentina, Greenpeace on the world's oceans. Meet the extraordinary characters of the era—über-revolutionaries Che Guevara and Mao Zedong, Harvard professor turned psychedelic crusader and prison escapee Timothy Leary, heiress turned revolutionary bank robber Patricia Hearst, sex-symbol turned activist Jane Fonda, infantry grunt turned movie director Oliver Stone, Vietnam veteran turned anti-war activist turned Secretary of State John Kerry, Associate FBI Director turned 'Deep Throat' whistle-blower Mark Felt, egghead professor turned mass-media celebrity Marshall McLuhan, and Jesuit priest turned FBI Most Wanted terrorist Daniel Berrigan. Battling against them are some of the most colorful characters the establishment has ever produced – Presidents Johnson and Nixon, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, potential leader of a British military coup Lord Louis Mountbatten, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Argentine President Juan Peron, Spiro Agnew and the 'Butcher of Uganda', Idi Amin Dada. The 1965-75 decade was incredible. Drugs, bombs, liberated women, street-fighting men. Seismic changes in politics, music, sports, journalism, architecture, aviation, food, hair, and fashion. All are brought to life in 'Ablaze – Ten Years That Shook the World.'
An illuminating study of the past… Highly readable.
Rowe’s latest is an engaging, relevant work that delves into
the history of the world during the crazy, sweltering mash-up of action and
change that was the decade covering years of 1965-75. Rowe approaches the story
chronologically, beginning on the 1st of January of 1965 and ending it on 31st
of December of 1975. The volatile ten-year period consists of revolutionary
wars, movements, coups, and attempted overthrows, erupting across the world.
Rowe discusses the new ideas in music, journalism, art, aviation, drugs,
education, and architecture and new movements like Women’s Liberation, Black
Power and Gay Liberation, Rowe skillfully examines how the years 1965-75 were
more revolutionary in America than the original revolutionary period of
American history (1765-1783). Rowe offers an extensive yet sharply probing
overview of the decade, reaching across social, political, and geological
globes to draw an eloquent portrait of a world on the brink of major change.
This is a revealing, well-documented narrative that explores all the layers of
a past gone by. Highly recommended."
The US Review of Books
book review by Kate Robinson
artist, cinematographer, filmmaker, and self-described explorer Rowe applies
his keen-eyed skills to chronicle 1965–1975. Each chapter covers a year in the
world. This makes for a long, riveting read for the armchair historian and a
useful reference volume for casual research by students and memory lane
strollers. Substantial notes, a bibliography, and an index support the
narrative focused upon political and military activity. But as there's no
realistic way to entirely separate those topics from the era's music, art,
fashion, and other cultural ramifications, there's plenty of material to
satisfy readers more attuned to the arts, humanities, and popular history.
Budding twenty-first-century activists and revolutionaries can study the movers
and shakers who spun the world forward with demonstrations, political theatre,
and outright violent revolution that propelled hard-won progress in civil,
women's, student, and workers' rights movements around the globe.
collection of brief vignettes covering the highlights of this decade might
normally come across as much more episodic and encyclopedic. However, the
lively writing and engaging storytelling in this work allow for the illusion of
a flowing story arc. "The mélange may at times feel like a psychedelic
kaleidoscope," Rowe states in the introduction, an apt metaphor for an era
universally ablaze with innovation and change. A bit of the magic also stems
from the fascinating subject matter. Though diverse and with a cast of
thousands, it feels interconnected with the resonance and relevance of karmic
action and reaction that rapidly sparked and exploded during the decade. The
book begins with the year 1965 because, Rowe states, "The Sixties in the
way we usually think about them, really started with the revolutionary year....
From the perspective of the late '70s, Bob Dylan observed that 'I guess the
'50s ended in about '65.'"
by the US Review of Books