An intriguing, first-of-its-kind cultural history of the turn of the 1960s - published on the 50th anniversary of the Manson murders.
The Sixties, for many, was a time of new ideas, freedom, and renewed hope - from the civil rights movement to Woodstock.
But it all seemed to implode towards the end of 1969 and early 1970 amidst the Manson murders, the Zodiac Killer, and the tragic events of the Rolling Stones' concert at Altamont. With that, the hippie dream died - or so the story goes.
In The Bad Trip, James Riley explores the dark side of the counterculture, arguing that a seam of apocalyptic thinking lay just beneath the decade's psychedelic utopianism all along. This is a magical mystery tour, exploring our concept of 'the Sixties' as substantially different from the reality of that period.
A brilliant and trenchant cultural history published 50 years after the action - drawing on interviews with key figures from the music, art, and film scenes of the late 1960s and early 1970s in the US and UK.
James Riley is a Fellow of English Literature at Girton College, Cambridge, focusing on modern and contemporary literature, popular film and 1960s culture. He co-edited The 1960s: A Decade of Modern British Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2018). He also makes films and performs spoken word poetry.