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Wineskin: Freakin’ Jesus in the ‘60s and ‘70s
by Michael Hicks
Signature Books, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-56085-428-9 | Paper: 978-1-56085-453-1

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Mormonism begins with a memoir: Joseph Smith kneeling in a grove until two-thirds of the Godhead appear and promise him a quixotic religious renown. Since then, the faith Smith birthed has raised up memoirs as gritty as Parley P. Pratt’s quasi-­canonical Autobiography or as luminously sarcastic as Elna Baker’s New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance. Grafted somewhere into those works’ genealogy comes this boyhood memoir, rooted not in Mormonism but in the Protestantism of American suburbia and the Jesus Freak movement of the early 1970s, then in, out, and back into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Michael Hicks’s story is a tale studded with awkward episodes of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not necessarily in that order), along with alcohol, sci-fi, theft, radical politics, cartooning, halfway houses, and the musical avant-garde. The one constant is the brooding figure of Jesus Christ behind Hicks’s various personal reclamations and metamorphoses, often via methods admittedly off the books. While many readers know Hicks as a Mormon academic—thirty-five years a professor of music at Brigham Young University—­Wineskin excavates the path, from boyhood to a PhD, that led him toward a faith that is both primitively Christian and highmindedly Mormon.

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