New York: E. P. Dutton, 1979. xiv, 270p., softbound original; 8.25 x 5.25 inch glossy wraps. "Perfectbound" textblock is cracked, the "Matters of concern" essay is much underlined, cover slightly creased and paperstock mildly browned. Laid in, a xerox copy of a 1996 letter from Rossman to this cataloguer, briefly recounting the publishing history of his book and related matters, about 300 words.
From preface, p. XII : "..the personal-growth-and-consciousness movement developed largely in isolation from this continuing social movement [the New Left] and its influences-- but not in isolation from the reaction to these. Indeed, the consciousness movement seemed to evolve more in response to the conclusion that the social movement had failed, and to the social forces inclining it to failure, than in response to the more progressive forces and potentials at hand [even organizers have feet of clay]. The idea that each movement might evolve to deepen and complete itself through the other received scant attention.." In fact political academics like Kirkpatrick Sale so harshly reviewed Rossman's book (a harshness trained at Rossman's tolerance of mysticism) that it got little further attention from those it might normally concern; and we may assume that strictly-New Age, apolitical types, couldn't grasp the connections. "New Age Blues" is caviar to the general, and a kind of missing-link book, not a cross-over success like Oglesby's (Oglesby and Rossman both key people in SDS) Kennedy assassination theory, "The Yankee and Cowboy War," which didn't set itself such a gulf to cross. But the last third of "New Age Blues" does consider a parallel unthinkable thing, namely weaponized mind control & parapsychology, and this question in particular, Did Mind Control Go Away?.. The US military and CIA said they stopped researching it, whistle-blowers like John Marks and Alan Shefflin agreed that while damage had been done to individuals, inherent limitations rendered it no general threat, Bowart said it was a threat but he really couldn't persuasively plot out alleged new developments. There's no hard evidence of further work unless you subscribe to samizdat (here a plug for Judy Wall's erratically-issued "Resonance"). So, let's put it this way : COULD mind control go away? Rossman thinks about it at length, it's 1978, he has little more than logic to go by, and some parapsychology out of Eastern Europe. --Although he's heard about EEG entrainment and the Danish guy with rivets in his head.. Other chapters in New Age Blues include 53p. on Werner Erhard's est ("A Phenomenon of the Seventies"), shorter looks at Rennie Davis & guru Maharaj Ji, Uri Geller (with sidelight on Andrij Puharich), and the Totalitarian Classroom Game, this last written up elsewhere as "The Wave." To sum it up : rather alone amongst his boomer and pre-boomer peers, then as now, Rossman was critically and systematically involved in BOTH 1960s politics and 1960s psychedelia --at the sub-celebrity level-- and unhappily the interests seemed to cancel, not to synergize.