The name Charles Reich is very much a litmus test, one that reveals a person’s cultural awareness circa 1970. For those who came of age later, the name may evoke dim memories or none at all. But to those who were culturally literate at the time, the name immediately links to “The Greening of America” and the explosion that surrounded its appearance. First published as an essay in The New Yorker and triggering more mail than any article in the magazine’s history, the book quickly topped The New York Times’ best-seller charts.

America was in a crisis, according to Reich, then a Yale Law School professor — a spiritual and political crisis brought on by the rise of the “Corporate State.” The State had trampled the once prevailing American “consciousness” of self-reliant individualism.