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America came of age in the late 1960s. So did I.

America’s youth faced arduous rites of passage—a war, the draft, assassinations, racial strife. We responded by reshaping politics, education, and most of all, our culture.

Some Way Outa Here is one boy’s story of that amazing time. At age seventeen, I was a science-obsessed student, enthralled by moon landings and the magic of chemistry. In the year that followed, my quiet suburban life was transformed by the maelstrom of events, engulfing me in street battles, school upheavals, personal breakdowns, several jailing. Two remarkable girls shared the journey, inspiring me to question everything and accept nothing.

The book is a story of one year, told in 12 chapters, capturing the spirit of the times. It’s a refreshingly different perspective, more revealing and appealing than the tired myths about hippies and radicals. For those that were there, this will unlock memories; for those who weren’t, it will open a door to an astonishing, important time in our history.

There are moments that stay with you for a lifetime, and unforgettable people who never leave you. This book celebrates them.

Some Way Outa Here:  A young rebel’s odyssey through troubled times as America struggled to find its way.

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Reviews of Some Way Outa Here

Excerpts from a few recent reviews (click on the titles for the full review):

Quintessential Companion for the Late 1960s/Vietnam War Era

This is the quintessential companion for understanding the complex environment of late 1960s activism, on the part of students from lower-to-middle class America – what was in their hearts, their aspirations and their fears in a highly polarized and dangerous country. Lauden’s writing flows with authenticity, with deeply credible characters, plunging me into nostalgia for the era in which I too was a draft-age, terrified student feeling disempowered by a government on a war binge.

Adolescents are not the only characters moving the story along. Interactions with smart, caring teachers, parents, community organizers, physicians appalled by the war, and authoritarian school personnel enrich the book with their mature perspectives. In particular, cameo appearances by Lauden’s maternal grandmother – a beautifully depicted, wise, Canadian-born elder who lost her only son in WWII –lends a special, warm multigenerational aspect to the narrative. She’s actually my favorite character in the book.

Some Way Outa Here will make great cinema. It already makes great nostalgic reading, college-level discussion material, and lively memoir.

– Boomeractivist

Brings the times alive

The saying “If you remember the sixties, you weren’t really there” has taken on the aura of truth. Except that it not always true, and Mark Lauden’s Some Way Outa Here makes that point. He does remember the sixties, 1969 in particular, and his narrative—part memoir, part reconstruction and part fiction—brings that troubled time to life.

The author has an engaging way of intertwining multiple strands of reality, viewing world events from a personal perspective and personal struggles in the context of national and global events. Lauden is a budding scientist, so his interest in topics like the moon landing, environment and technology set him apart from many young people of his generation, but those interests prove prescient given the ultimate impact of science and technology on the modern world. He has a real eye for detail, and his own involvement in [antiwar] activities provide subjects for detailed observation. The book makes for a very interesting read, especially for those who might not remember the sixties, or who only know it from official histories. Some Way Outa Here brings those times alive in the context of one young man’s personal experience.

– Amy Gogarty