The Republic of Rock, by Michael J. Kramer

August 28, 2013

During the Vietnam War, San Fran­cisco was the center of antiwar protest and the counterculture. Nothing could seem more antithetical to the war effort than the drug culture of the city’s Haight-Ashbury district. Michael J. Kramer documents how the youth who congregated in San Francisco and those who reluctantly marched off to the war in Vietnam had quite a bit in common. Rock music provided the background texts for both groups. The Defense Department appropriated rock music, even though much of it was identified with the antiwar movement. Rock music played over the military airwaves in Vietnam had a double edge: to relax the soldiers and to charge them up for battle.