Actor and activist Peter Coyote describes important ways in which the 1960's counterculture succeeded. Despite the movement's failed political agendas, Coyote explains how its concepts of tribe, compassion and well-being are now tightly woven into today's mainstream culture.
Out of the 60's counterculture explosion came a radical street group called the Diggers, who became the heart and soul of the Haight-Ashbury experience. Named after a group of 17th century free-thinkers in England, the Diggers dedicated themselves to building a new morality in place of the money-hungry capitalistic society, cutting through the cultural propaganda via the medium of both street theater and "free" programs.
They began to distribute free food, provide free medical care and sponsor free rock concerts in Golden Gate Park featuring musicians like the Grateful Dead. They burned money, left its ashes and set out to create the condition they described.
Peter Coyote's memoir, first published in 1998, recounts his time as one of the group's founders and beyond. He weaves his experiences into a collection of stories from his life in San Francisco to communes and gypsy years on the road becoming part of the Free Family.
Ordained practitioner of Zen Buddhism, activist, and actor, Peter Coyote began his work in street theater and political organizing in San Francisco. In addition to acting in 120 films, Coyote has won an Emmy for narrating the award-winning documentary Pacific Century, and he has co-written, directed, and performed in the play Olive Pits, which won The Mime Troupe an Obie Award. He lives in Mill Valley, California.