which Dickstein considers as the wholenof the culture he is commentating (“rocknwas the culture of the sixties in a uniquenand special way”), his treatment reflectsna labor of love and many well-worn volumesn(and records) on his shelves. He isnat home here, and chides those close tonhim—and not so close: Mailer “groped”nthrough three novels to find himself,nMalamud is “flawed,” Sontag is “marred.”nHe selects a narrow corner of the writingnof the period and does a good job with itn(but beware if you oppose his thesis: TomnWolfe, another Yale Ph.D., is simplisticnand misreads the sixties—so there!)nIvickstein’s chosen subjects in thenmusical arena—Bob Dylan, the Beatles,nand the Rolling Stones—are treatednknowledgeably, somewhat roughly, butnnonetheless sympathetically. The sexualncharacter of rock is a foregone conclusion,nand Dickstein himself discoverednthat he had entered the sixties so sexuallynrepressed that he didn’t even realize it.nCountry music, however, and blues—notnthe reprocessed city varieties but the realnthing that found its way from authenticnethnic sources to merge with pop musicnin the sixties until it was impossible tontell which was folk-rock or country bluesnor vice-versa—this musical melting potnreceives no attention. Why.’ Because itsnantecedents are consistent far into thenfifties, forties, even beyond, and collidenwith Dickstein’s vision. But these formsnnever penetrated New York until theyn•were suitably commercialized (and thenTV show “Hee-Haw” shows what NewnYork really thinks of the rest of thencountry). These songs were everywherenelse, though, treating real-life problemsnwith persuasive, uncluttered directness,nwhile Paul Goodman, a favorite poet ofnthe protest crowd, was not interested inngraduate-student Dickstein’s “clever andnbrilliant” observations at a conferencensomewhere because Dickstein didn’tn”turn him on.” Goodman, you see, had an”passion for the young which was fuelednby his sexual need,” “driven and debasednby sexual hungers and humiliations.”nThose were the sixties.nWhat we have here, then, is one verynprivate, very personal, and very belaborednsixties’ life, bearing and reflecting thenimprint of the New York intellectualncommunity during those years whichnallegedly constitute the “watershed ofnour recent cultural history.” In the songnfrom which the book’s title it taken, BobnDylan does not tell us whether the Gatesnof Eden are approaching or receding: fornDickstein, they are always there but justnout of reach. This is a period piece, andnas a cultural history it is short indeed. Itncan best be summed up in the words ofnthe Paul Simon song from the end of thenera: “A man hears what he wants tonhear, and disregards the rest.” •n”There was something about the sweet reason of Dickstein’s tone that I found attractive . . . Thentheoretical limitations of the book were offset… by its propaganda potential…”— Village Voice.n”Here is a stimulating overview of the painful birth of a new sensibility among a new generationnwhich, he feels, will yet ‘have its say’ in a new way . . y—Publishers Weekly,n”I still find excessive Dickstein’s estimate of the period’s cultural achievements, but I can see thatnhis book makes the unqualified opposition of such critics as Philip Rahv, Saul Bellow and Daniel Bellnseem flat and uninformative by comparison. Those writers, notwithstanding the validity of many ofntheir judgments, simply refused to take the period seriously. Dickstein has shown, conclusively, theninadequacy of this position. He makes it clear that we learn more about the period by taking itnseriously than by writing it off as the triumph of the ‘trendy’. . .”—Christopher Lasch, The NewnYork Times Book Review.n”What Gates of Eden is willing to essay it essays with humanity and intelligence . . T-^New Times.nnn17nChronicles of Culturen