Local Author Explores Original Hippie Subculture & Its Impact on the Economy

May 16, 2016

When most of us think about hippies we think about thousands of people defined by life-style, fashion, music and political choices. The original hippies may have been looking for a little peace, love and understanding, but their ideas sparked an economic revolution.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa with Charity Nebbe talks with Mike Klassen, author of Hippie, Inc. and associate professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa. He says that the beginning of the hippie movement can be traced back to an autumn day in 1965, when he says the Beat movement turned into the Hippie movement. November 27, 1965 marked the first of a series of “Acid Tests,” a series of parties hosted by author Ken Kesey in the San Francisco Bay Area, that focused on the use of the psychedelic drug LSD.

“So what we had on November 27, 1965 was a seminal moment when basically America’s young people decided that things needed to be changed, and they were going to do it the way they thought it should be done,” says Klassen.

They also talk about the lasting impacts the original hippies had on culture and the economy, as well as examine what the hippie movement looks like today.