Filler tells us, it was considered “badntaste” to discuss the Manson connection.nThe violence continued and increasednwith the Weather Underground bombingsnof the early 70’s. But the movementnwas crumbling.nVanguards and Followers is mostninstructive in chronicling the culturalnroots of the movement. Filler studies itsncauses and its effects asking why, of allnthe antisocial lurches of nearly two centuriesnof American mass movements,nthis cataclysm of youth and the not-soyouthfulnin the 1960’s had become thenmost effective assault on normalcy andntradition. He blames it partly on thenprevious generation: war, racism andnpresumptuous materialism were notnthe doing of these well-fed children, butnthese factors pushed them in new directions.nThe masses of young people innearlier times faced only the immediatenconcerns of work and survival. But, henexplains, this view of youth as victimsnleaves them without hope or alternatives.nWhile the youth were always followers,nthe “vanguard” was a misshapennideology that grew not from middleclassnBabbittry, but from liberal intellectualnvacuousness.nFiller suggests that society’s acquiescencenin the values and tastes of thencounterculture, for the first time innhistory, raised it to respectability andnpushed it to bizarre and deadly excesses.nHe reminds us that the New York Timesnpanned John O’Hara’s Pal Joey in 1941,nthough O’Hara had done nothing tonrationalize his shabby protagonist.nHowever:n”In the 1960’s the Times treated asndistinguished such authors as PaulnGoodman, Norman Mailer, WilliamnBurroughs, Henry Miller, and GlorianSteinem, and published articles writtennwith uncontrolled hatred of thenUnited States and adulation of suchna figure as Jimi Hendrix, who had presumablynexposed its failings.”nThe American counterculture of then60’s, unlike its predecessors of othernperiods, had the intellectuals of the establishmentnon its side. University presidentsnroutinely ordered the R.O.T.C.noff their campuses at the first hint ofnradical activity. Sociologists called fornacceptance of the drug culture, andnJudge Julius Hoffman of the ChicagonSeven trial was scorned and ridiculednby the major press outlets. Radicals cavortednbefore TV cameras as the networksndid their bidding. The beaconsnof American society, rather than condemnnthe worst of the counterculture,nencouraged it.nFiller, unlike Wolff, is utterly bleaknin his assessment; he has a keen ear fornhypocrisy, and hypocrisy was nearlyneverywhere in public debate in thosendays. The “movement” was not de­nThe Culting of AmericanGita Mehta: Karma Cola; Simon &nSchuster; New York.nby Roger W. FontainenVJita Mehta’s Karma Cola is a slimnvolume of anecdotes—some amusingnand some instructive. The theme, ofncourse, is East meets West or rathernEast merges with West, hence Karmanand Cola, hence utter confusion. Onnoccasion the vignettes offered by MissnMehta are neither funny nor instructive.nAt times the humor is plainlynforced, and the reader can best detectnthis fact from the chapter titles. Twonwill suffice; “Being Hindu MeansnNever Having to Say You’re Sorry,”nand “Om Is Where the Art Is.” Om.”nStill, this collection of short stories—nphotographs really—of the Euro-nAmerican expatriate community livingnin India during the late 1960’s givesnanother variation on Cultures in Collision.nIn this case, the principal variationnexplains when one culture adoptsnDr. Fontaine is with the Center fornStrategic Studies at GeorgetownnUniversity.nnnstroyed; the fanaticism burnt itself out,nbut some of its worst features were absorbednwithout discrimination into thendisheveled ethos of American life. Thenconsequence is that we will face thisnbattle again.nWolff, the younger writer, is optimistic,nwhich is as it should be. Hisnpoignant narrative is full of hope fornindividuals trying to live their privatenlives with some sense of the lessons ofnthe past, but outliving, perhaps, thenworst memories of nihilistic battles recentlynfought. Two serious works, these,nthat touch the aching question of ournage, the question of spiritual survival,nbut leave it circumspectly unanswered.nDnand translates another culture into itsnown language and then proceeds to retranslatenit into the original language,nthe native speaker is left with a garbledntext and a confused message. Thenauthor has her best moments recordingnthe speech of the expatriate Americanndown and out in places like Delhi andnBombay. Karma is the favorite worddarenI call it a concept—and is stretchednto mean anything, thus rendering itnmeaningless.nThe cast of characters are as onenwould imagine in say. Abbot and CostellonMeet the Mad Guru. Mostly theynare aimless American youths lookingnfor drugs and sex and a meaning to itnall. There are many in India who, for anprice, are only too happy to supply all ofnthe above—especially the last. Nonsurprises there, and Miss Mehta doesnnot tell us much beyond that. And thatnis too bad. She, on occasion, is almostnready to tell us more, but never quitengets to it. This is even more distressingnbecause one gathers from the writingnthat she has had ten years to reflect—innLondon where she has wisely decided tonlive.nI would suggest therefore some of thenHHBHHlSOnMay/June 1980n