If you think you know the history of the Hippie movement, Yoga or vegetarianism in the West, and you haven’t read Gordon Kennedy’s Children of the Sun, think again. Packed with photos the late 19th century (including many of young men with long flowing hair that look as if they were taken during the 1960s), this is undoubtedly the best documentation of how naturism, yoga, vegetarianism, and much that we associate with the Hippie movement, got its start in Germany, and was imported to the USA close to the beginning of the 20th century.
After a while out of print, Children of the Sun was recently re-released. If you want a taste of his work, Kennedy was recently interviewed by Brian Chidester of the Eden’s Island blog. Here’s a couple of paragraphs from their conversation:
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GK: At a time when America had just dropped two atomic bombs on Japan and most of the nation was celebrating the end of America’s biggest war, a tribe of German and Jewish-American kids had united together and were diving into pools under giant waterfalls in the desert, climbing avocado trees, hitchhiking through the mountains and deserts without a gun or a sleeping bag, living in caves, composing music, practicing yoga, playing flutes and, unlike the beats or hippies, doing it without pot, tobacco, acid, qualudes, alcohol, television, methadrine, coffee, or money from mom and dad.