Crawford Rhaly (Mississippi) - See all my reviews

I was never tempted to put this book aside. In recent years I have not read much religion or theology, and I sometimes become impatient with Freudian psychology and its terminology, but David Williams managed to keep my attention. "Searching for God in the Sixties" is interesting, well organized, and well thought out.

This book chronicles a pattern of human history - namely, the pendulum swings back and forth from structure (intolerable) on one end to rebellion (doomed) on the other. Special attention is given to two decades, the Fifties and the Sixties, and how they helped get us where we are today.

As is typical of someone very bright, Williams can wander off on very interesting tangents without losing sight of his original point. I appreciated his mention of Faulkner and the caged bear, as well as the many references to Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and other literary giants, and his inclusion of much from the pop culture. His timely references to "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" jogged my memory of that movie (I never read the book) in a satisfying way, and I was not put off by the repeated references to "The Matrix," a movie which I have never seen.

I found the author's writing style captivating. His use of images can be particularly powerful, as when he observes that while the light at the end of the tunnel may have been the metaphor for Vietnam, it turned out that the light at the end of that long dark tunnel was "the gleam in Charlie Manson's eyes."

As I read this book, I was reminded of something my favorite lit teacher (Evans Harrington) liked to say, that "meaning is derived from the struggle to find meaning." A book like "Searching for God in the Sixties" can be a valuable aid in that struggle to find meaning, and I recommend it highly.