“Rock and roll when first encountered seemed to represent two fears: a fear of the future and a fear of the past.”

Some feared, Christopher Hill notes, that this new kind of music had the power to lead Americans to radical decadence in the not-too-distant future. Others, who had experienced gospel music, recognized “the testifying quality, the clear sense that there were deep stakes involved, that there was a message that urgently need to be put across” and feared that old, unsettled issues of race and social justice would surface again. This wonderful book is sprinkled with unexpected observations, and it’s as much a history of ideas and social movements as an analysis of the roots of rock and roll.

Hill, Christopher. Into the Mystic: The Visionary and Ecstatic Roots of 1960s Rock and Roll.Park Street Press, 2017.

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