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Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press, Part 2

Ken Wachsberger

Publication Year: 2012

This enlightening book offers a collection of histories of underground papers from the Vietnam Era as written and told by key staff members of the time. Their stories, building on those presented in Part 1, represent a wide range of publications: countercultural, gay, lesbian, feminist, Puerto Rican, Native American, Black, socialist, Southern consciousness, prisoners’ rights, New Age, rank-and-file, military, and more. Wachsberger notes that the underground press not only produced a few well-known papers but also was truly national and diverse in scope. His goal is to capture the essence of “the countercultural community.” This book will be a fundamental resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of a dramatic era in U.S. history, as well as offering a younger readership a glimpse into a generation of idealists who rose up to challenge and improve government and society.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-x

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pp. xi-xii

As Ken Wachsberger continues to collect memoirs from the founders and insiders of the alternative press, the story gets wider and deeper—there is so much to tell! Now we have volume 3 in front of us, but readers should not expect an orderly chronological sequence. If you are familiar with volumes 1 and 2, you know that “orderly” was not a concept...

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pp. xiii-xviii

A few weeks after volume 1 of the four-volume Voices from the Underground Series came out in January 2011, I was interviewed by Marc Stern, host of “Radio with a View,” the Sunday-morning talk show on Boston’s WMBR 88.1 FM. He asked me why I had chosen to devote so much time to the subject of the underground press, which was the...

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Soldiers Against the Vietnam War: Aboveground and The Ally - Harry W. Haines, with appendices

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pp. 1-46

Tell us about the plan to burn down barracks buildings at Fort Carson.” The army intelligence officer wasn’t keeping notes during the interrogation, so I figured the gray room had a microphone hidden somewhere, recording my answers. My cover was blown, and here I sat in my dress uniform, summoned to explain my role in the publication...

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Fast Times in the Motor City: The First Ten Years of the Fifth Estate, 1965–1975 - Bob Hippler, with an appendix

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pp. 47-96

In 1965, Norma Ovshinsky Marks decided to move to Los Angeles and take her seventeen-yearold son, Harvey, a senior at Detroit’s Mumford High School, with her. Ovshinsky wasn’t too happy about going. “To begin with,” he recalls, “I had to speed up my Mumford graduation by going to summer school and missing most senior class ceremonies. I was well known at...

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Fag Rag: The Most Loathsome Publication in the English Language

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pp. 97-120

It’s been over four decades since that Friday evening, June 27, 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Bar on Sheridan Square; instead of going quietly into the waiting vans, the motley crowd of queers and queens attacked the police. Stonewall was closed, but sporadic street rioting continued in Greenwich Village for...

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The Kudzu: Birth and Death in Underground Mississippi

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pp. 121-152

Yes, there was an underground press in Mississippi in the sixties. How could there not be writers in the land of Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, and Eudora Welty? We called our paper The Kudzu after the notorious vine that grows over old sheds, trees, and telephone poles throughout the South. How did it come about that a bunch...

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The Wong Truth Conspiracy: A History of Madison Alternative Journalism

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pp. 153-188

The 8½ years I spent working on alternative newspapers in Madison chronicled very clearly the transition from the sixties to the eighties. In 1971, when I first worked on Kaleidoscope, the hippie era (“sex, dope, Kaleidoscope”) was still in full swing. A large alternative community existed in Madison. It was clearly an alternative to the dominant...

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New Age: Worker Organizing from the Bottom Up

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pp. 189-232

When I started work at Standard Mirror Company in South Buffalo in the spring of 1968, I had no idea how profoundly that experience would change my life. My first day on the job is still emblazoned in my mind. When I walked into the factory, I was assaulted by loud crashing and banging sounds. Black and green pipes and...

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Ain’t No Party Like the One We Got: The Young Lords Party and Palante

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pp. 233-254

The group of college-age Latino males who would later join with two other similar groupings to become the New York chapter of the Young Lords Organization (YLO) was called the Sociedad de Albizu Campos (SAC) when I joined in May 1969. Six or seven of us met Saturdays in Spanish Harlem—El Barrio. I was eighteen at the time and had just come back...

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Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom, Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend: The Story of Hundred Flowers

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pp. 255-268

It began for me in the summer of 1967 at the New Left Convention in Chicago. I had been hired to teach Modern European Drama at Smith College in Massachusetts in the fall, my first full-time academic appointment. On the drive there from Minneapolis, I thought I’d stop in Chicago for a few weeks and check out the state of the Left...

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The Furies: Goddesses of Vengeance - Ginny Z. Berson, with appendices

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pp. 269-288

In the winter and spring of 1972, while Richard Nixon and his minions were preparing to bug Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Building, twelve self-proclaimed revolutionary lesbian feminists—who were known collectively as the Furies—were putting out the first issues of what would almost instantly become the...

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At This End of the Oregon Trail: The Eugene AUGUR, 1969–1974

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pp. 289-302

Twenty years ago today,” goes the Sgt. Pepper song and the memories of America’s underground press. We thought we were Camus writing for Le Combat in Nazi-occupied France. An alien force had taken over our country: it talked peace and made vicious war; it owned both political parties. We were all that was left of the opposition, but we were...

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Karl and Groucho’s Marxist Dance: The Columbus Free Press and Its Predecessors in the Columbus Underground

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pp. 303-334

A metal canister imprinted with “No. 264 Multiple Baton Shell—For Use By Trained Police Personnel Only” stands on a bookcase in the house I now own in Olde North Columbus, a working-class neighborhood sandwiched between the ever-changing Ohio State University area and comfortably middle-class Clintonville. Loaded with short...

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“Raising the Consciousness of the People”: The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, 1967–1980

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pp. 335-368

I was headed out the door to my job as managing editor of Black Scholar magazine in Oakland, California, when my phone rang the morning of Tuesday, August 22, 1989. The caller, a sister who had been a fellow Black Panther Party member in Oakland after first working in the party in Houston, Texas, rushed out the words...

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Both Sides Now Remembered: Or, The Once and Future Journal

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pp. 369-384

Both Sides Now (BSN) barely made the sixties. The first issue was dated November 29, 1969. Its banner headline reflected one of the Movement’s main concerns of the moment: “Paul McCartney Dead!” Two more issues managed to get squeezed in before the end of the decade. BSN’s original base, Jacksonville, Florida, was not the most fertile ground for an...

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It Aint Me Babe: From Feminist Radicals to Radical Feminists - Bonnie Eisenberg, with help from Laura X, Trina Robbins, Starr Goode, and Alta, with appendices

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pp. 385-416

The 1960s was a tumultuous time in Berkeley, California, where the spark of student rebellion in the U.S. was born with the nonviolent free speech movement (FSM) in 1964. As the Vietnam War escalated and students faced the threat of being drafted, the U.C. Berkeley campus and surrounding residential communities became the site of numerous major student protests...

About the Authors

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pp. 417-420


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pp. 421-442

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781609173289
E-ISBN-10: 1609173287
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611860313
Print-ISBN-10: 1611860318

Page Count: 450
Illustrations: Illustrated
Publication Year: 2012