The Sixties were a bend in the river—-a river that seems to be in danger of going the way of the Rio Grande—dried up. Susan Sherman traces the gathering currents of this river at the confluence between some of its major tributaries. For her it begins in Los Angeles in the Forties and Fifties, which was by then the heart of America’s image-making machine. Her transformation follows the larger social trajectory of a country that rose victorious and prosperous from a world war. First are her frustrated early attempts to keep step with the world of toothpaste smiles, tidy lawns, backyard barbeques, martini cocktail hours, and non-filtered cigarettes. With her move to Berkley at nineteen, and the ensuing, age-specific progression of influences, relationships and their resulting liberations and limitations, she begins her five-decade investigation into political and social change and the power and beauty of language.