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Celebrating Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary – Top 8 Books


Forty years ago, nearly half a million people gathered in a celebration of love, music and peace – the historic Woodstock Festival. This legendary event is remembered in many ways, including on the printed page. Good Morning America has compiled a list of their Top 8 favorites:

  1. Woodstock Revisited edited by Susan ReynoldsWoodstock Revisited
    This collection contains fifty stories written by people who attended the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. Since all the books that preceded it have focused on the musicians, promoters, and staff, this book will be the first one that chronicles the audience’s experience in an up close and personal way. This book documents the event itself, but also provides a mesmerizing portrait of America as that tumultuous decade came to a close. It is nostalgic, historical, and a fascinating read that will appeal to all Baby Boomers, their offspring, and anyone who wonders what it was really like—and what became of all those “hippies.”
  2. The Woodstock Story Book by Linanne G. Sackett and Barry Z. Levine The Woodstock Story Book
    a chronologically and anatomically correct pictorial account of the historic 1969 Festival. It includes over 240 full color photographs by Barry Z Levine, official photographer of the Academy Award winning Woodstock film, and text by Linanne Sackett that resonates with the charm and humor of Dr. Seuss. The book captures the performers, personalities, audience, excitement, mood, and action from the beginning. The Woodstock Story Book’s 154 pages include many exceptional, never-before-seen photographs of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, the Who, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, The Band, Sly and the Family Stone, John Sebastian, Ten Years After, The Incredible String Band, Tim Hardin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and many more.
  3. Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock by Pete Fornatale Back to Garden the Story of Woodstock
    On the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock, renowned New York City disc jockey Pete Fornatale brings the iconic rock concert to vivid life through original interviews with Roger Daltrey, Joan Baez, David Crosby, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, and dozens of headliners, organizers, and fans. From Richie Havens’s legendary opening act to the Who’s violent performance, from the Grateful Dead’s jam to Jefferson Airplane’s wake-up call, culminating in Jimi Hendrix’s career-defining moment, Fornatale brings new stories to light and sets the record straight on some common misperceptions. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs, authoritative, and highly entertaining, Back to the Garden is the soon-to-be classic telling of three days of peace and music.
  4. Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation by Elliott Landy, Intro. by Jerry GarciaWoodstock Vision
    In the turbulent sixties, the Woodstock Festival and the Generation that came from that event were a manifestation of the desire to create a free, loving and just world. Elliot Landy has had his finger on the pulse of the Woodstock generation. He was there before the famous festival, hanging out with Dylan and The Band; he was the photographer of record at the Woodstock festival itself; and he still lives in Woodstock today. In this edition of Woodstock Vision, Landy captures and preserves the true vision and pure essence of the festival-what it was like to be part of the sixties, sharing the spirit of unlimited hope, optimism, and belief that the world can be made better through peace and love. The book affectionately chronicles what it was like to be at the Woodstock Festival and to be a part of the spirit of its generation
  5. Girls Like Us by Shelia WellerGirls Like Us
    “Girls Like Us” is a groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America’s most important musical artists–Carly Simon, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell–and offers an epic treatment of these mid-century women who dared to break tradition. Filled with the voices of many dozens of these women’s intimates, who are speaking in these pages for the first time, this alternating biography reads like a novel — except it’s all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal enriched by a wealth of new information.
  6. The Road to Woodstock by Michael Lang with Holly George-WarrenThe Road to Woodstock
    The story of the festival begins with Michael Lang, a kid out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who liked to smoke a joint and listen to jazz and who eventually found his way to Florida, where he opened a head shop and produced his first festival Miami Pop, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and others. In the late sixties, after settling in Woodstock, he began to envision a music and arts festival where folks could come and stay for a few days amid the rural beauty of upstate New York. The idea crystallized when Lang talked it over with Artie Kornfeld, a songwriter and A & R man, and with two other young men they formed Woodstock Ventures. They booked talent, from Janis Joplin and the Who to the virtually unknown Santana and Crosby, Stills and Nash; won over agents and promoters; brought in the Hog Farm commune to set up campgrounds; hired a peacekeeping force; took on fleets of volunteers; appeased the Yippies; and were run out of one town and found another site weeks before the festival.
  7. Woodstock: Peace, Music & Memories by Brad Littleproud and Joanne HagueWoodstock Peace Music Memories
    Woodstock Peace, Music & Memories tells the story of what Time magazine called “the greatest peaceful event in history” in the words and pictures of some of the 500,000 people who lived it. With a natural look and scrapbook-of-memories character, this book celebrates the 40th anniversary of this legendary event with a mix of 350 color, sepia-tone and black and white photos; interviews with performers including Carlos Santana and Mountain, as well as attendees, a special section of Woodstock memorabilia with current values, and a foreword written by Woodstock co-organizer Artie Kornfedt. Whether you are a baby boomer or a musician who rocked and rolled – to the music and atmosphere of Woodstock, or are a fan, a collector or a historian who wish you were there, you will find this book to be an amazing tribute to the most famous three days of 1969.
  8. Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World by Mike Evans & Paul Kingsbury. Foreword by Martin ScorseseWoodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World
    It defined a generation, exemplified an era: Woodstock was unlike anything that has ever happened before or since—and August 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of this seminal event. Relive the moment and “get back to the garden” with this day-by-day, act-by-act account of everything that went down on Yasgur’s Farm. With interviews and quotes from those who were there—the musicians, the fans, the organizers—and a wealth of photographs and graphic memorabilia, Woodstock is the ultimate celebration of a landmark in modern cultural history.
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