The Thumbnail Book Reviews

by John Q McDonald --- 2 August 2003

The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom

The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation

by Wes "Scoop" Nisker

"Scoop" Nisker is a well known San Francisco area radio personality. His commentary could be heard on local stations KSAN, KFOG and KPFA starting in about 1977, but he became scarce, appearing only occasionally now (though he is often spotted at Berkeley cafés). This reader has always appreciated his incisive and compassionate commentary on the political, social and spiritual state of the world. He is funny and thoughtful, motivating us with his trademark closing line: If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own. He is a child of the 60s, the somewhat self-indulgent Baby Boom, and the innovative world view that came out of that time. In this short book, Nisker looks back on his own spiritual experiments and places them within the context of the political and spiritual world of the past few decades.

Nisker travels to India, like so many of his generation, to find a new spiritual footing in this chaotic new, and affluent, world. He connects the spiritual promiscuity of his generation to the untold wealth that they enjoy. And he hopes for a new paradigm, in which people learn to think and act smaller, in a spiritual connection to each other and to the world. The book is often funny, though more serious-minded than much of Nisker's radio commentary. It is nostalgic and hopeful, but also somewhat sad. Members of the 60s generation hoped to work worldwide change. In some ways they did, but recent swings of the pendulum back to the right (way right!), can be cause for despair. Is the world Nisker worked to create gone forever? His nostalgic and sad notes ring truer than his hopeful notes, unfortunately, but that may also be my reaction to the time in which we live. The book isn't a detailed overview of Nisker's generation. It is more personal than the blurb text would have us believe. But in that, the book is better than its advertising. The book is very thoughtful and sometimes moving, personal and vibrant. Recommended.

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Also by Wes Nisker: [You are Not Your Fault]

[Other Buddhism and Tibet Books]

[Other books on the 60s & Counterculture]

[Other Biography and Memoir]