Counterculture Reading List

By Lynn Ann Lobash, Associate Director, Readers Services and Engagement
January 18, 2018

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of 1968, the Library is hosting an exploration of the many cultural changes that emerged from 1960–74 and how they carry forward into today’s environment of activism and political engagement. There are many opportunites to attend events at the Library.  You can also travel back to the sixties in the magic time machine that is literature. Here are a few titles to consider. 

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas
The electric Kool-Aid acid test
On the Road
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

On the Roadby Jack Kerouac


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey



Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Trout Fishing In America
The Fire Next Time
The  Autobiography of Malcolm X












Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion


Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan


The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin


 The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X 

Understanding Media
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Female Eunuch
If I Die In a Combat Zone

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer 

If I Die In a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home by Tim O’Brien

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!