Today’s Lansing City Pulse usedÂ a few copies of the â€œJoint Issueâ€ from my counter-culture collection for an articleÂ on author Ken Wachsbergerâ€™s new book, â€œVoices from the Undergroundâ€Â on the history of theÂ underground press in the U.S. The book is published by the MSU Press.
In the article and the book, Wachsberger tells how being locked up in jail for participating in an anti-war demonstration at MSU radicalized his politics and life. It propelled him into the burgeoning underground newspaper scene where he dug right in, making a lot of friends along the way.
When he decided to write a history of the underground press in America he called on these old friends to write their â€œstoriesâ€ which he then edited and compiled in a four-volume collection. Wachsberger will be doing a reading, discussion and signingÂ at EVERYbody Reads, 7 p.m., Thursday March 3.
Quite a number of localÂ stalwarts inÂ the arts, music and cultural scene worked on local underground newspapers in the sixties and seventies including Bob Baldori ofÂ WooliesÂ fame, Ray Walsh owner of Curious Book Shop and ArchivesÂ Bookshop in East Lansing and artist and illustrator Dennis Preston whose art appears above.Â Read more about the book and Wachsberger in a previous post on Mittenlit.com.
Wachsberger has been able to gather together, in his book,Â a collection ofÂ first-person â€œstoriesâ€ fromÂ key players in the underground newspaperÂ and anti-war movement, providing needed insight into a time that seems uncannily like the present. He was able to get two notable anti-war fixtures Tom Hayden and Bill Ayers to provide blurbs for his first volume.
Â Ayers, professor of education, University of Illinois Chicago, and a founding member of the Weather Underground, called the book â€œextraordinaryâ€ and said it was a â€œdeep and calibrated examination of an alternative media exploding onto the scene in the midst of an exuberant and turbulent uproar.â€
Forewords are by â€œChicago Seedâ€ veteran Abe Peck, attorney William Kunstler, and Markos Moulitsas, founder of dailykos.com, one of the most important progressive blog sites of todayâ€™s new media.
In what is an amazing coincidence, or great minds thinking alike, MSU grad John McMillianÂ has published another credible book â€œSmoking Typewritersâ€Â on the history of the underground newspaper movement in the U.S. Read a review on Mittenlit.com.