Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Joan Didion

“It was not a country in open revolution. It was not a country under enemy siege. It was the United States of America in the cold late spring of 1967, and the market was steady and the GNP high and a great many articulate people seemed to have a sense of high social purpose and it might have been a spring of brave hopes and national promise, but it was not…”

“So physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate” that people tended to forget that her presence ran counter to their best interests, Joan Didion slipped herself into the heart of the Sixties Revolution, only to slip out again with this savage masterpiece, which, since first publication in 1968, has been acknowledged as an unparalleled report on the state of America during those curious days. Now that some of the posturing and pronouncements of those times are being recycled, Didion’s sobering reflections are timely once again: ‘the future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past.”

Reviews of Slouching Towards Bethlehem

  • “Didion’s essays of a world featuring barricades and bombings, mass murders and kidnapped heiresses make recent history as filtered through her seem a savage and passionate drama, something you can put a hand on and feel it beating, something you can put your ear to and hear its story.”
    VILLAGE VOICE

    “Brilliant, troubling, indelible tales and reflections.”
    SAN DIEGO TRIBUNE

    “Reveals a wholly original analytic mind, a sensibility as expansive and idiosyncratic as a 19th-century novelist’s.”
    MONA SIMPSON

    “Our quintessential essayist.”
    JERRY KOSINSKI, ‘LA Times’