A Guide to an American Subculture

by Micah L. Issitt


The name came out of jazz slang from the 1940s, but it's the psychedelic 1960s that will forever be the era of the hippie, a time when the counterculture's ethos of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and "turn on, tune in, and drop out" gripped the nation from the East Village to Woodstock to Haight-Ashbury.

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Cover image for Hippies

October 2009


Pages 164
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General

An insightful introduction to hippie culture and how its revolutionary principles in the 1960s helped shape modern culture.

This title explores how hippies, and 1960s counterculture in general, developed and influenced popular culture in America. Covering the years between 1961 and 1972, this is the first volume focused exclusively on the emergence, growth, and lasting legacy of hippie culture, on everything from clothing, hair styles, and music to attitudes toward sex and drugs, and anti-war, anti-establishment activism.

Hippies includes a chronology, topical chapters on hippie culture, biographies, primary documents, and a glossary. Coverage ranges from an examination of hippie involvement in drug use, politics, sexual behavior, and music, and a contemporary perspective on lasting impact of hippies on modern American life. Readers will encounter famous icons of the era, from Abbie Hoffman to Timothy Leary, while getting a real sense of what life inside the hippie counterculture was like.


  • Includes 13 primary sources, including excerpts from articles, speeches, and original interviews, and Abbie Hoffman's trial interview
  • Presents original photography by acclaimed photographer Robert Altman, providing views of hippies at the height of 1960s culture


  • Introduces well known figures from the period and lesser known actors who played important roles in manifesting hippie culture
  • Dispels some of the misunderstandings and rumors surrounding hippie culture and providing a more informed view of the 1960s
  • Illustrates the development of Hippie culture and its lasting manifestations in contemporary society
Author Info

Micah L. Issitt is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia, PA. Issitt specializes in ecology, social behavior, ethnography and history.



"Hippies is a delectable introduction to the hippie counterculture of the 1960s. . . . This book is a must have."ARBAonline

"This guide for students and general readers focuses on the subculture of hippies in America from 1963 to 1971, discussing its emergence, growth, legacy, philosophy, culture, and lifestyle, with a focus on San Francisco's Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Issitt, a freelance writer, addresses the influence of hippies on music, clothing, and hairstyles, and their attitudes towards sex, drugs, the Vietnam War, and the mainstream establishment, with biographical sketches of famous individuals like Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. An annotated bibliography and primary documents such as newspaper articles, an interview with Robert Altman, and the testimony of Abbie Hoffman after his arrest at the Chicago Democratic National Convention of 1968 conclude the book."Reference & Research Book News

"Hippies is a powerful pick for any American history collection from high school to college levels."Midwest Book Review

"This book is written for an audience of students planning to do serious research."Library Media Connection

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