The Walrus and the Elephants: John Lennon's Years of Revolution (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Here's a great book about John Lennon's music and activism after the breakup of the Beatles. It inspired the creation of GioSafari's final album, I Am the Walrus, a tribute to Lennon celebrating his 75th birthday (listen for free on Spotify or YouTube!)

— Gio


Nineteen-seventy-one was the year John Lennon left London and pop stardom for a life in New York City as a solo artist, record producer and activist looking to help end the war in Vietnam. He settled in Greenwich Village and quickly came to be seen by the leaders of the faltering anti-war movement as someone who was capable of reinvigorating it. The government was acutely aware of Lennon’s power as well, seeing him as a viable threat to Nixon’s reelection hopes, initiating extradition proceedings against him.
Lennon’s second solo album, Imagine, appeared in 1971, followed the following year by Sometime in New York City. Meanwhile, John and Yoko are searching for her daughter, a primary reason they came to America in the first place. And John is struggling to embrace feminism.
The Walrus and the Elephants tells a double-barreled story of music and politics, how the personal is political and the political is personal, of upheavals in one life amid the larger cultural upheavals of an era.

About the Author

JAMES A. MITCHELL is the author of But for the Grace: Profiles in Peace from a Nation at War, the story of an orphanage in Sri Lanka’s war-torn northeast; the rock biography It Was All Right: Mitch Ryder’s Life in Music; and the tale of a rural newspaper, Applegate: Freedom of the Press in a Small Town). A reporter and editor for more than thirty years in New York, Michigan, and as a U.S. Army soldier-journalist, Mitchell has written on a wide range of subjects for newspapers and magazines including Entertainment Weekly, The Humanist, Video Business, and Starlog. In South Asia, Mitchell produced video features for CNN’s iReports. He lives in Southeast Michigan and works for a non-profit organization that supports the Grace Care Center for Children in Sri Lanka. Mitchell makes frequent appearances before community and civic groups regarding Sri Lanka, and has appeared on radio and TV shows to discuss Detroit rock and roll.

From the Hardcover edition.

Praise For…

"James Mitchell carefully and lovingly has reconstructed an inspiring and poignant chapter both in John Lennon's odyssey and in the tangled flow of the American anti-war and other protest movements of the late nineteen sixties and early seventies. The Walrus and The Elephants is an indispensable window into an amazing time in American history and the history of rock and roll."—Danny Goldberg, author of Bumping Into Geniuses

“This book serves as a backstage pass to the missing link between Lennon’s music and his activism, ranging from decriminalization of marijuana to termination of undeclared war —both ends of that spectrum fueled by the government’s misuse of power without compassion—revealing how the Nixon administration tried to silence him.”—Paul Krassner, author of Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture

“Lennon is one of the most documented individuals in modern culture, yet never before has this early New York period of his history been examined with greater depth and clarity.”—Lee Ranaldo, co-founder of Sonic Youth

From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781609805760
ISBN-10: 1609805763
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication Date: December 9th, 2014
Pages: 288
Language: English