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Counterculture Through the Ages : From Abraham to Acid House (2004) - Ken Goffman aka R.U. Sirius, Dan Joy

R. U. Sirius - counterculture

Counterculture Through the Ages : From Abraham to Acid House - Ken Goffman, Dan Joy [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Prometheus is described as a countercultural hero of Romanticism.
The Greeks’ greatest sinner started getting some modern love when the Romantics embraced him at the start of the nineteenth century. Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound got the ball rolling. Shelley completed the missing parts of Aeschylus’ tale, liberating the Greek god from his eternal suffering and setting him up as a hero for the post-Enlightenment era. As Theodore Roszak writes, “Prometheus Unbound is a song of the heights, a dizzy rhapsody offered to flight and the transcendence of all limits.” Indeed, where the Greeks saw hubris, Shelley saw “the highest perfection of moral and intellectual nature, impelled by the purest and the truest motives to the best and noblest ends.” If Prometheus is the champion of humankind against the cruel Greek god Zeus, Shelley uses the myth to unite mortals with God, defining man in Prometheus Unbound as “one harmonious soul of many a soul, whose nature is its own divine control.” --Counterculture Through the Ages : From Abraham to Acid House - Ken Goffman, Dan Joy


The book defines subcultures as commodified countercultures.

Amazon review

From Booklist
Although typically defining themselves in opposition to dominant cultures--hence the name--countercultures through history have more in common with each other than previously supposed. In fact, argues this book, breaking with tradition is itself a longstanding tradition, distinguished by Promethean antiauthority impulses, often accompanied by some sort of libertine humanism and individualism (although often conflicted about the merits of technology). Less a history of movements than of moments, Goffman's narrative hits Socrates and Sufism, among select others, en route to a more detailed parsing of the various countercultural moments of the twentieth century; at times, it reads reminiscent of an old-fashioned intellectual history, mapping influences catalyzed in heady Paris or Haight-Ashbury. Yet Goffman steers clear of overtheorizing, keeps readers hooked with hip contemporary comparisons (declaring Calvin Coolidge the Reagan of the early 1900s, for example), and, for decorum's sake, keeps his evident zeal for certain figures (Timothy Leary, for example, a posthumous contributor to this book) more or less in check. Always engaging, often inspiring, and certainly not just for nostalgic boomers. Brendan Driscoll, Amazon.com

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