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The Nation Expanding

Document 2
San Francisco Students,
circa 1969

  [The students were] dressed Revolutionary Street Fighter. After the strike at [San Francisco] State, middle-class students didn't show up on campus any more in letter sweaters or those back-to-school items like you see in the McGregor ads. They dressed righteous and "with the people." They would have on guerilla gear that was so righteous that Che Guevara would have had to turn in his beret and get bucked down to company chaplain if he'd come up against it. They would have on berets and hair down to their shoulders, 1958 Sierra Maestra style, and raggedy field jackets and combat boots and jeans, but not Levi's or Slim Jims or Farahs or Wranglers or any of those tailored hip-hugging jeans, but jeans of the people, the black Can't Bust 'Em brand, hod-carrier jeans that have an emblem on the back of a hairy gorilla, real funky jeans and wooly green socks, the kind that you get at the Army surplus at two pair for 29 cents.

From Tom Wolfe, Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers in Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1970, p. 126, describing students at San Francisco State University in 1969.

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Blue Jeans
Costume Collection
SI Neg.# 94-181
Gift of Brigid McMenamin, 1973


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