Edward Dorn's Gunslinger constitutes one of the most significant, and underacknowledged, poetic achievements of the last half of the twentieth century. Written during the years 1967-1974, the poem reacts with intelligence and humor to the varying moods of its complex times. This study explores the poet's treatment of life in the sixties. The author argues that Gunslinger is best read as a reaction to the state of the nation in the 1960s. The poem chronicles the rise and fall of the counterculture and provides a running commentary on the noble aspirations and pretensions of the revolutionary counterculture.