The Greening of America

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The Greening of America
Hardcover edition
Author Charles A. Reich
Country United States
Language English
Subject Sociology
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Random House
Publication date
Media type Print, e-book
Pages 399 pp. (hardcover)
Followed by Garcia: A Signpost to New Space

The Greening of America is a 1970 book by Charles A. Reich. It is a paean to the counterculture of the 1960s and its values. Excerpts first appeared as an essay in the September 26, 1970 issue of The New Yorker.[1] The book was originally published by Random House.


The book's argument rests on three separate types of consciousness. "Consciousness I" applies to the world-view of rural farmers and small businesspeople that arose and was dominant in 19th century America. "Consciousness II" represents a viewpoint of "an organizational society", featuring meritocracy and improvement through various large institutions; it dominated the New Deal, World War II and 1950s generations. "Consciousness III" represents the worldview of the 1960s counterculture, focusing on personal freedom, egalitarianism, and recreational drugs.[2]

The book mixed sociological analysis with panegyrics to rock music, cannabis, and blue jeans, arguing that these fashions embodied a fundamental shift in world view.


The book was a best-seller in 1970 and 1971, and topped the New York Times Best Seller list on December 27, 1970 and other weeks.[3]


  1. ^ Reich, Charles A. (1970-09-26). "Reflections: The Greening of America". The New Yorker: 42. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  2. ^ Charles A. Reich, The Greening of America (25th anniversary edition, Three Rivers Press, 1995) ISBN 0-517-88636-7
  3. ^ New York Times Best Seller Number Ones Listing

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