The Sociological and Political Subtleties of Woodstock Essay

The Sociological and Political Subtleties of Woodstock Essay

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The Sociological and Political Subtleties of Woodstock


The Woodstock festival descended on Bethel, New York promising three days of peace and music. Event organizers anticipated 15,000 people would attend but were overwhelmed by the 300,000 people that flooded this rural area of New York state from August 15 -17, 1969. While these facts are well known and indisputable, the festival itself has proven to be a controversial endeavor. What began as a small business venture was soon brimming with the controversy of an entire decade. It becomes clear when examining the strikingly different accounts of the festival that reactions varied depending on the fundamental values and personal circumstances specific to each observer and to the underlying motives of the historian describing the event.

Joel Makower's Woodstock: The Oral History was particularly effective in examining Woodstock as it was experienced by the producers of the festival. The book's approach is atypical in the sense that it spends considerable time addressing exactly why and how the festival came into existence instead of droning on about drug use and mud slides. The ordeal began when John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, wealthy young entrepreneurs, placed an ad in The Wall Street Journal declaring, "Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting and legitimate business ideas."[1] Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld, representing only one of the thousands of replies that Roberts and Rosenman received, proposed building a recording studio for musicians in Woodstock, New York.[2] This original idea was obviously modified and resulted in the Woodstock festival as it is known today. The book effectively details everything from the initial catalyst to the re...


... middle of paper ...


...8 August 1969, p. 25.

"The Message of History's Biggest Happening," Time, 29 August 1969, 32.



Notes

[1] Joel Makower, Woodstock: The Oral History (NY: Tilden Press Inc., 1989), 24.

[2] Makower, 28-29.

[3] Makower, 1.

[4] "Amazon.com," search for "Joel Makower". (17 February 2002).

[5] Alfonso A. Narvaez, “Bethel Farmer Call Fair a Plot ‘to Avoid the Law’,” The New York Times, 20 August 1969, p. 37.

[6] "Episcopal Archives," (17 February 2002).

[7] Michael T. Kaufman, "Generation Gap Bridged as Monticello Residents Aid Courteous Festival Patrons," The New York Times, 18 August 1969, p. 25.

[8] Narvaez, 37.

[9] "The Message of History's Biggest Happening," Time, 29 August 1969, 32.

[10] Time, 32.

[11] Time, 33.

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