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Customer Review

on April 2, 2016
Although attributed to several different people, the saying 'If you remember the sixties, you weren't really there' has taken on the aura of truth. Except that it not always true, and Mark Lauden's Some Way Outa Here makes that point. He does remember the sixties, 1969 in particular, and his narrative'part memoir, part reconstruction and part fiction 'brings that troubled time to life. Lauden's book chronicles his final year of high school in a Philadelphia suburb in 1969-70, a year marked on the public stage by the moon landing (July, 1969), Viet Nam war protests, racial conflict and environmental awakening, and on the personal level by the traumas of adolescence, family relationships, pressures to get into college and to find one's way in the world. The author has an engaging way of intertwining multiple strands of reality, viewing world events from a personal perspective and personal struggles in the context of national and global events. Lauden is a budding scientist, so his interest in topics like the moon landing, environment and technology set him apart from many young people of his generation, but those interests prove prescient given the ultimate impact of science and technology on the modern world. He has a real eye for detail, and his own involvement in activities like CoR (the Committee of Responsibility, which sought to help children injured by napalm), draft board protests and the November March on Washington provide subjects for detailed observation. The book makes for a very interesting read, especially for those who might not remember the sixties, or who only know it from official histories. Some Way Outa Here brings those times alive in the context of one young man's personal experience.
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