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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.
"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