What Was 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' And Why Was It So Popular?

By Cyn Felthousen-Post

Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, published in 1970, was a novella -- about, yes, a seagull -- than became a bestseller and one of the defining books of the '70s. Many people bought and read the book, soaking up its new age message. Maybe the allegorical story of a misfit bird was profound and consequential, or maybe it was just the right kind of nuttiness for the seekers who wanted the '60s to last forever. Quite a few people saw it as nutty, and it became one of the most parodied books of all time.