The White Album

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Macmillan, 1990 - Literary Collections - 222 pages
13 Reviews
First published in 1979, "The White Album "is a mosaic" "of the late sixties and seventies. It includes, among other bizarre artifacts and personalities, the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a Balck Panther Party press conference, the story of John Paul Getty's museum, the romance of water in an arid landscape, and the swirl and confusion of the sixties. With commanding sureness of mood and language, Joan Didion exposes the realities and dreams of that age of self-discovery whose spiritual center was California.
Joan Didion is the author of several novels and works of nonfiction, among them "Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Miami, Salvador, After Henry, "and "Political Fictions." She lives in New York City.
First published in 1979, "The White Album "is a journalistic mosaic" "of American life in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. It includes, among other bizarre artifacts and personalities, reportage on the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a visit to a Black Panther Party press conference, the story of John Paul Getty's museum, a meditation on the romance of water in an arid landscape, and reflections on the swirl and confusion that marked this era. With commanding sureness of mood and language, Didion exposes the realities and dreams of an age of self-discovery whose spiritual center was California. "All of the essays manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism."--Robert Towers," The New York Times Book Review"
"Didion manges to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota) . . . A timely and elegant collection."--"The New Yorker "
"Didion is an original journalistic talent who can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes."--"The San Francisco Chronicle"
Table of Contents
I. THE WHITE ALBUM
"The White Album"
II. CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC
"James Pike, American"
"Holy Water"
"Many Mansions"
"The Getty"
"Bureaucrats"
"Good Citizens"
"Notes Toward a Dreampolitik"
III. WOMEN
"The Women's Movement"
"Doris Lessing"
"Georgia O'Keeffe"
IV. SOJOURNS
"In the Islands"
"In Hollywood"
"In Bed"
"On the Road"
"On the Mall"
"In Bogota"
"At the Dam"
V. ON THE MORNING AFTER THE SIXTIES
"On the Morning After the Sixties"
"Quiet Days in Malibu"
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Carmenere - LibraryThing

From the water and transportation systems of Southern California to Schofield Barracks and the Punchbowl Crater of Hawaii, from artist's to civil unrest, Journalist Joan Didion was there to cover it ... Read full review

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User Review  - msf59 - LibraryThing

"The beaches at Malibu are neither white nor as wide as the beach at Carmel. The hills are scrubby and barren, infested with bikers and rattlesnakes, scarred with cuts and old burns and new R.V. parks ... Read full review

Contents

James Pike American
51
Holy Water
59
Many Mansions
67
Bureaucrats
79
III WOMEN
109
Doris Lessing
119
At the Dam
198
On the Morning After the Sixties
205
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About the author (1990)

Joan Didion is the author of five novels and six works of nonfiction:Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Miami, Salvador, After Henry,andPolitical Fictions.She lives in New York City.

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