DON'T BE MISLED by the subtitle. This book is more Hubert 'Rap' Brown than Arthur Brown. 'Rap' headed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the United States, but that did not stop him calling on his followers to find themselves guns. 'Violence is necessary,' he told them - 'it is as American as cherry pie.' Arthur was the manic eponymous singer of the rock band, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, who used to descend onto the stage at concerts covered in flames, belting out the line 'I am the god of hellfire' (from his song 'Fire', a huge hit in the summer of 1968).
Arthur Brown is not mentioned in this fair-minded account of the revolutionary events of 1968, for author Mark Kurlansky has adopted the considered tone of a well-informed member of Students for a Democratic Society rather than the rambling utterance of a bemused Hendrix fan. His book is the better for