Linda's television series, "Our American Heritage," at can be seen on Community Access Channel 15 in San Jose and Campbell at 6 pm Sunday evenings.

From the Book Jacket

Linda Rae Hermann is a school board member and teacher in San Jose, California. She has her Masters in Political Science from San Jose State University. Her knowledge of America's cultural revolution is derived from observation, study, and personal participation during its most revolutionary period, Haight-Ashbury, 1967

The Autobiographical

Preface to "The Kennedy Legacy"

I was a teenager in the 1950s. I loved my country, and I was one of those idealistic teenagers who felt a deep desire to go into public service. I identified with those who were suffering injustices at that time, and I wanted to right some of those wrongs. In college, I continued to pursue this goal and majored in political science. I intended to go to Georgetown University or attend law school after receiving my BA. Then I planned to live in a poor area from which I would run for office and help the disadvantaged.

In my senior year of college, I had a revelation that changed all of my plans. On taking a course in business ethics, I was exposed to corruption and deception previously unknown to me. As a result of reflecting on ethical misconduct in business, I related this conduct to politics. I concluded that the political realm must be equally or more corrupted than business. I concluded I was too naïve to consider a political career until I had laid a stronger moral foundation. I did not want to become a public servant, and end up being a corrupt and immoral one, unable to represent those most in need.

I sensed at that time, a movement in politics towards greater greed, corruption, and competition. As a result of my realization about my weaknesses and the weaknesses of the system, I set off to find a way to grow in character and ethical clarity. Instead of attending law school, I converted to Catholicism and began graduate studies in theology. After a year of taking classes towards a Masters in theology, I returned to California to enter a religious order. I was especially looking for solace and purpose since John F. Kennedy, whose message of service had increased my hunger to serve my country, was assassinated that previous year. His death made me even more aware of the precarious state of our nation morally and politically.

During the time I entered the convent, in 1964, Pope John XXIII began to reform the Catholic Church. It was the beginning of a liberalization of the Church, which resulted in tremendous tension in the religious community I joined. By the end of two years, when I left, the order was ready to split between the reformers and traditionalists. I had learned more about God and morality, but I did not find the suitable place to which I could contribute my talents.

Upon leaving the religious order, I was drawn to the Hippie Movement just beginning in San Francisco. I had read about it while in the convent. By then, 1966, my disillusionment had developed into despair. I searched to put meaning to all I had learned and seen. The Hippie idea, “to drop out,” fit my feelings of powerlessness to be able to do anything to help my country and its citizens. In a state of confusion and despair, I joined others in the Haight-Ashbury of San Francisco. I identified with their criticism of our materialistic and hypocritical society. By the end of the summer of 1967, the Hippie community in San Francisco self-destructed. My husband and I had gone to New York City in the summer of 1967 to get away from the dissolving movement and the destruction by drugs of many of our friends. When we returned in 1968, most of our friends and other Hippies had left the city to go live in the country. We remained in San Francisco and started a family until 1972.

In 1972, we moved to a farming community in northern California near Eureka. There I continued to search to establish some meaning out of my experiences and the national transformation that was occurring. Soon after arriving in the countryside, we met a preacher who was forming a new church. He was reaching out to the lost people of that period, and it was part of a bigger movement, called the Jesus Movement. We spent twelve years with that pastor. We lived communally and gave ourselves to complete spiritual saturation. There were many excesses in this Christian community, but it provided a structured, clearly defined environment in which to grow spiritually and morally.

Up until 1989, I had concentrated upon raising my family, serving in my church, and growing in ethical knowledge. In 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell, I returned to college to begin my studies for my Masters in political science. I reentered the secular world and the world of education with a desire to understand why the United States was in a worse state than when I left it (in my mind), in 1964.

It was then, in 1989, that I began to develop the themes and thesis for this book. Since then, all of my activities, thoughts, and studying have gone into formulating the ideas in this book. I have spent these many years watching and experiencing the upheavals and cultural revolution that has occurred in our society. I have lived through and participated in that revolution while also viewing it as an observer. My goal has been during these years since 1964 to become a morally upright person who could continue to identify with her fellow man and discover some answers that could help restore our culture to ethical clarity and political well-being.

As I returned to college and invested my free time in helping in my community, it came to me that I was ethically prepared to enter public service. In 1998, I ran for the office of school board trustee in San Jose, California, and was elected. I have now begun the service I intended to do over thirty-five years ago. Whether I remain politically active locally or go beyond the local area is uncertain. Most importantly, I hope to have influence on the minds of Americans through this book, which has had an extremely long period of incubation.

For the readers of this book, I hope it does all that I have intended it to do. I hope it opens your eyes to the revolution that has taken place in our nation. I want you to know that there has been a revolution, and it has changed the character of America. It is up to you to make a decision whether you want our nation to remain true to its ethical and political roots, or if you prefer our nation to be a completely different culture than our Founding Fathers’ created and intended.

It has been said that without knowledge people perish. I am trying to give the Americans who read this book the knowledge they need to make a choice. Up until the present time, forces in our society have moved deceptively to undertake radical changes. Such important changes should be decided by citizens not an elite. Now that you will know the past, the present, and the future plans of those in power, you can choose how you can best serve our nation. Hopefully, you will decide to move this country down the path to cultural restoration.
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