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A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed Americaby Peter Richardson
Synopses & Reviews
A Mother Jones “Best Book of 2009,” A Bomb in Every Issue uncovers the largely untold story of Ramparts magazine, the spectacular San Francisco muckraker that captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s and repeatedly scooped the New York Times, changing American journalism forever.
Launched in 1962 as a Catholic literary quarterly, Ramparts quickly transformed into a “radical slick,” winning a George Polk Award in 1967 for its “explosive revival of the great muckraking tradition.” According to the Los Angeles Times, the magazine “not only blew the cover off the biggest stories of the era, it also helped set the ideological agenda for its core demographic, the New Left, and forced the mainstream press to follow its lead.”
Ramparts’ list of contributors—including Noam Chomsky, César Chávez, Seymour Hersh, Angela Davis, and Susan Sontag—formed a who’s who of the American left. Although Ramparts folded for good in 1975, former staffers founded Rolling Stone and Mother Jones and include some of the most illustrious names in journalism (names like Robert Scheer, Jann Wenner, and Warren Hinckle), and Ramparts remains an inspiration to investigative journalists today.
Book News Annotation:
Launched in 1962 as "a forum for the mature American Catholic," Ramparts magazine went on to become the iconic magazine of the 1960s left, publishing writings by such figures as Eldridge Cleaver, Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky, Seymour Hersh, Angela Davis, and Susan Sontag. It naturally gathered a lot of enemies as well, with the CIA spying on the magazine after it published material on covert activities in Vietnam and Time magazine deriding it as containing "A Bomb in Every Issue," as they put in a headline. Richardson (San Francisco State U.) recounts the story of Ramparts and its influence from its founding to its demise in 1975. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Peter Richardson is the author of A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America (The New Press). He is an editor at University of California Press, a lecturer at San Francisco State University, and a book reviewer at Truthdig. He lives in Richmond, California.
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