In 1969, California is not just the new Eldorado: it is the crucible where civilisation is accelerating, self-destructs, and is reborn. It's the probe of Spaceship Earth. The hippy phenomenon, communes, the ecological movement, great collective ceremonies like park-ins and rock concerts, the flourishing of sects ranging from mystics to Marxists, the experience of 'weed' and 'acid', are temporary images and elements of a search for a new truth, a new religion, a new society. Long before it became fashionable for European intellectuals to write about their voyages to the United States, Edgar Morin, one of France's leading intellectual figures and at that time known as a path-breaking and innovative sociologist and researcher of popular culture, recounts the story of his experiences in the cauldron of change that was California, including his encounters with some of the leading minds of that time. The book combines Morin's accounts of his experiences with his own search for answers to fundamental questions about the human condition. For a few months, the author had a profound feeling of being drawn into the heart of the 'great questions', played out personally and societally.
The result is an engaging and prophetic work that has as much if not more to offer today than it did when it was first published in French.
Edgar Morin is Emeritus Director at the CNRS (French National Research Center), and one of France's leading intellectuals. He has written on a variety of subjects, reviewed and received to great acclaim, ranging from Cinema to History, Politics to Science and Education. His central effort is to develop a 'method', an approach to inquiry that will do justice to the complexity of the world and of human beings.