121: Twentieth Century Man

121: Twentieth Century Man

Jan 29, 1999
One thing that makes our country different from most others is this idea that you can re-create yourself as someone you'd prefer to be...sell everything off, head out west, start a new life.  But what happens if you're too good at it?  At throwing everything out and starting over?

Over the course of his life, Keith Aldrich was a child of the Depression in Oklahoma; a preacher-in-training in booming California; an aspiring Hollywood actor; in the 1950s, a self-styled Beat writer, and then a man in a gray flannel suit; in the 1960s, a member of the New York literati, and then a hippie; in the 1970s, a denizen of the suburbs with a partying, Ice Storm kind of life. Then in the 80's, when the moral majority helped put Ronald Reagan in office, he became a born-again Christian.

 Today we're devoting our entire show to story of Keith's life, as told by one of his nine children, Gillian Aldrich.

His life is not only a history of the major cultural shifts of the second half of the 20th century.  It's also a case study in the question, "What happens if you're too good at transforming yourself?"
  • The first part of Gillian's story. (33 minutes) ChildrenDeathDivorceFamilyFathersHistorysiblings

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Keith Aldrich with his daughter, Gillian Aldrich.

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