About the Book: Where Have All the Flower Children Gone?

Cover of Where Have All the Flower Children Gone?

Cover of Where Have All the Flower Children Gone?

As Baby Boomers reach their 50s and 60s, many have begun to reflect upon their pasts.  "Whatever happened to the Vietnam protesters?" "Where are they now?"  “What, if anything, did the upheaval of the late 1960s/early 70s contribute to society?” The answers to these and many other questions about what might be remembered as "those damn hippies" can be found in the interviews, narratives, and photos of WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWER CHILDREN GONE? (University Press of Mississippi, 2006).

During the Vietnam conflict, approximately 3 to 4 million Vietnamese on both sides were killed, in addition to another 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians who were drawn into the war. More than 58,000 Americans died. Vietnam itself has been the recipient of most of the examination in the media, literature, and nonfiction. Author Sandra Gurvis explores areas not previously covered during the “war at home,” addressing such issues as, how do former dissenters reconcile the rebellions of their student days to their present lives? What happened to them since then, and why? Were they ashamed or proud of their pasts? Did they believe they'd made the world a better place, and were they continuing in those efforts? Or did they just not care and concentrate on their own creature comforts?

FLOWER CHILDREN also offers insight into little-known aspects of the era — an uprising at Colorado State that was in many ways was more typical of protests than, for instance, the well-documented events of Columbia University in 1968, and coffeehouses held near military bases that were instrumental in changing soldiers' opinions about Vietnam. Through dozens of interviews — of influential power brokers like Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska), high-profile former radicals such as Bernadine Dohrn and one of the last interviews with the late Ossie Davis, so-called "ordinary people," and many more — and candid, rarely-seen photos, the book puts a contemporary face on the Age of Aquarius.

Also included is a chapter about Vietnam and Iraq which discusses similarities and differences between the two conflicts.  Added to that is a generational perspective of those preceding and following the Baby Boomers, giving voice to the question, “How did a generation so opposed to Vietnam end up in what seems to be an insoluble predicament in the Middle East?”  The issue is further addressed on this Web site through, the video interview, “Sixties Minutes”, a conversation about Vietnam and Iraq with the author and Lt. Col. Rick Welch of the U.S. Army Reserve, who is currently on assignment in Baghdad.

So whether you vaguely remember the '60s, claim to have forgotten them entirely, or never even lived through them, WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWER CHILDREN GONE? brings to life a colorful, complicated era that made a huge impact on our collective memory and culture.