cache 470 320 0 50 92 16777215 9780780812840 Woodstock

Defining Moments


  • Author/Editor: Kevin Hillstrom
  • Binding: Library binding
  • Trim Size: 7 ¼ x 9 ¼
  • Page Count: 240
  • Book Level:
  • Publication Date: Oct 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-7808-1284-0
  • List Price: $60.00
  • Sample Pages
  • Printable Information Sheet

Web Price: $54.00

More than four decades have passed since the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Yet the most famous rock-and-roll concert in U.S. history lives on in the memories of performers and attendees, in the expansive collection of photos and videos documenting the experience, and in the event’s lasting influence on America’s cultural landscape. Woodstock remains a potent symbol of the 1960s—or at least an idealized version of that era, when young people came together to celebrate the power of peace, love, and music over war, materialism, and racism.

Defining Moments: Woodstock provides a comprehensive account of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, one of the seminal cultural events of the last half-century in America. The volume puts Woodstock within the larger context of the 1960s, a turbulent decade that changed American politics, culture, and music; it focuses in on the festival itself, both the preparation for the concert and the experiences of those who attended; it examines the various ways in which Woodstock has changed American popular music, both as a business and as art form; and it explores the festival’s enduring symbolic significance.

The volume is organized into three distinct sections—Narrative Overview, Biographies, and Primary Sources—which offer a one-stop resource for student research.

  • The Narrative Overview section provides a detailed, factual account of what led up to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the events and issues during the era, and its legacy in American society
  • The Biographies section presents valuable biographical background on leading figures associated with Woodstock
  • The Primary Sources section collects a wide variety of pertinent primary source materials from the era, including official documents, first-hand accounts, memoirs, song lyrics, editorials, and other important works

Other notable features include a glossary of important people, places, and terms; a detailed chronology featuring page references to relevant sections of the narrative; an annotated listing of selected sources for further study; an extensive general bibliography; and a subject index.

Standard Features

  • Library binding, 7 1/4 x 9 1/4
  • 240 pages
  • 30-40 photographs and other illustrations
  • Narrative Overview section: Provides a detailed, factual account of the “defining moment”
  • Biographies section: Presents valuable biographical background on leading figures associated with the event
  • Primary Sources section: Collects a wide variety of pertinent primary source materials from the era
  • Research Topics: Proposes a list of topics suitable for conducting historical research and writing reports, a valuable starting point for student research
  • Source Attribution: Contains references for primary sources and other quoted material that guide users to other historical research resources
  • Glossary of Important People, Places, and Terms: Gives brief definitions for the many terms used in the book
  • Chronology: Highlights the related events in chronological order, along with “see” references that direct the reader to pages in the narrative with additional information
  • Sources for Further Study: Provides annotated citations for selected sources that are most useful to students
  • Bibliography: Lists books, periodicals, web sites, and videos consulted in preparing the volume
  • Subject Index: Includes people, places, organizations, events, and other topics

Research Topics

Each volume in the Defining Moments series covers a wide range of topics that students can use as starting points for further research. Potential research topics for Defining Moments: Woodstock are below:

  • Examine how important historical events like the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement inspired changes in the world of American popular music during the 1960s
  • Discuss the ways in which Woodstock symbolized the “hippie” counterculture lifestyle that became popular in the 1960s
  • Review the preparations undertaken by Woodstock’s promoters and organizers for the festival; summarize the differing reactions to the festival from Wallkill, opponents in Bethel, and Max Yasgur; and explain which one would most closely approximate your own attitude if your community was asked to host a Woodstock-type festival
  • Explain the importance of the Woodstock film documentary and albums to the event’s continued fame
  • Compare and contrast the events at Woodstock with those at Altamont, including which factors contributed to the wildly different atmospheres at these two concert events and which festival stands as a more accurate symbol of American society in the late 1960s
  • Examine the history of Woodstock anniversary concerts—in what ways were these events successful, and in what ways did they fall short
  • Explore popular music trends during other turbulent periods of American history, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II, and explain how the popular songs of these eras reflected or shaped public attitudes
  • Discuss the ways in which generational tensions contributed to the growth of rock and roll in the 1960s, and provide examples of ways in which these tensions are still present in popular music today
  • Document and explain the fascination that Woodstock continues to hold for many Americans today


“Woodstock became an idealized moment of an era—a three-day concert celebrating peace, free love, and great music. Woodstock describes the history of rock-n-roll and the major players on the music scene. It also includes sections on the culture—the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the anti-war movement.”

—VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates, June ’13

“Woodstock is a well-organized, balanced, and approachable reference source for its intended audience, undoubtedly reflective of the composition of the series advisory board (public and school librarians and educators). … Although its title reflects this one event in the 1960s counterculture movement, much of the information and material provides reflects the deeper meaning behind the movement and the feeling behind it.”

—American Reference Books Annual, 2014