Unplugged & Totally Uncut
Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Peter Richardson No Simple Highway

Februrary 1, 201517 min
Now, with the 50th anniversary of the band’s creation in 2015, NO SIMPLE HIGHWAY: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead by Peter Richardson (St. Martin’s Press; January 20, 2015; $26.99 hardcover) is the first book to attempt and answer this deceptively simple question. Routinely caricatured by the mainstream media, the Grateful Dead are often portrayed as grizzled hippy throwbacks. In NO SIMPLE HIGHWAY, Richardson corrects that impression, revealing them to be one of the most popular, versatile, and resilient ensembles in the second half of the twentieth century. While the band’s image, and their status as countercultural heroes aided in their popularity, Richardson argues that their appeal arose from their uncanny ability to tap into three powerful utopian ideals—their commitment to ecstasy (the urge to transcend), mobility, and community— and how it was these ideals that struck deep chords with two generations of American youth and continues today.NO SIMPLE HIGHWAY is one of the

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