Peace, Love, and Mayhem

Woodstock Nation by James Parker
The Atlantic, September 2009

"And did those feet in ancient time walk upon upstate New York’s mountains green? And did the fascist pigs seed the rain clouds over the festival site, causing them to unbosom upon the heads of the beautiful people? And was Jerusalem builded there, if only for 72 hours? Pretty much, apparently. No one was killed, at least not on purpose; and who knows--some scraping enlightenments may even have been attained. Peace on Earth. A different America, squatting BlackBerry-less in the mud--and smiling! Like you, perhaps, I was in diapers at the time, which means that I view the events recorded in the movie Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music as through an electric fence of skepticism, generational disenchantment, blah blah. Nonetheless: what a scene. What a mind-blower."

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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