Synopses & Reviews
is Ed Sanders's unapologetic and often hilarious account of eight key years of "total assault on the culture," to quote his novelist friend William S. Burroughs.
Fug You traces the flowering years of New York's downtown bohemia in the sixties, starting with the marketing problems presented by publishing Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts, as it faced the aboveground's scrutiny, and leading to Sanders's arrest after a raid on his Peace Eye Bookstore. The memoir also traces the career of the Fugs--formed in 1964 by Sanders and his neighbor, the legendary Tuli Kupferberg (called "the world's oldest living hippie" by Allen Ginsberg)--as Sanders strives to find a home for this famous postmodern, innovative anarcho-folk-rock band in the world of record labels.
"Sanders, best known for his 1971 book on the Charles Manson murders (The Family), engagingly depicts how the culture of New York City in the 1960s shifted from the beats to the hippies. In this 'book of remembrances' as he 'surged through the decade on my own little missions,' Sanders has chosen 'to accentuate the energy, the wild fun, the joyful creativity, and the schemes of Better World derring-do.' He tells many stories about his work with such friends as Allen Ginsberg, Jonas Mekas, Charles Olson, and Abbie Hoffman and provides his own fascinating perspective on the birth and trial of the Chicago Seven. Sanders includes a detailed history of his Peace Eye Bookstore, which played a crucial role as the epicenter of the counterculture of New York's Lower East Side (and has served as a model for every underground bookstore since). Above all, it means a generous helping of stories about Sanders's band the Fugs, whose visionary combination of 'poetry, satire, and antiwar fervor' on such albums as 'It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest,' is now considered truly revolutionary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Village Voice, 11/29/11
“[A] vivid memoir of the decade…Today’s Occupy Wall Street movement can take, if not a lesson, at least inspiration (and perhaps solace) from Sanders’s triumphs and travails.”Publishers Weekly, 12/12/11“[Sanders] engagingly depicts how the culture of New York City in the 1960s shifted from the beats to the hippies.” PopMatters.com, 12/5/11“Sanders tells the story in a series of vignettes that are sometimes funny, occasionally frightening, and typically littered with the names of The Famous and The Dead…In the end this is a work that recalls with vivid and loving detail the haphazard glory of those wild, wild bygone times.” Hartford Advocate, 12/7/11“Sanders ties all of his earliest threads—up to 1970—together in the most engagingly idiosyncratic memoir of the year…Indeed, now that his friend and mentor Allen Ginsberg is dead, Ed Sanders is the strongest living link between the Beat Generation, the hippies and all other underground currents that have trickled along the countercultural pipeline since then.” High Times, February 2011“This brilliant memoir not only chronicles the band’s early days, but paints an outrageous, inspiring picture of life among the artistic outlaws of New York’s Lower East side in the ‘60’s.”
New York Post, 12/11/11“Sanders…brings us back to those idealistic days.”
Baltimore Sun, 12/8/11“In short, impressionistic chapters, Sanders details his adventures, as well as his encounters with seemingly everyone who was anyone in the Beat and hippie scenes…Sanders provides a fly-on-the-wall view of many facets of a turbulent decade.”
Metro Focus, 12/13/11“In addition to Sanders’ enlightening personal take on New York in the ’60s, the pages of Fug You are lined with wonderful gems from the poet’s personal archive. Between the covers the reader will discover doodles by the likes of Burroughs and Sanders himself, rare Fugs concert photos and flyers, many drawings of cannabis leaves, intimate shots of Allen Ginsberg and other demented, wonderful esoterica.”
New World Review, Vol. 5, Num. 28“At its best, Fug You evokes the wide-eyed spirit of adolescence, with its delusions of purity and heartbreaking enthusiasm and dynamism.” Huffington Post, 1/3/12“A picaresque chronicle of the 1960s filled with scrupulously documented recollections of Sanders's adventures and misadventures in poetry, politics, and rock 'n' roll.” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/22/11
“It's the perfect gift for those seeking poignant and often hysterical historical precedent for their musically inspired civil disobedience…Regardless of your political or musical stripe, Fug You is a riveting account of a history that is still relevant today.” New York Times, 1/12/12 “[Sanders] has described his 1960s in various ways over the years…but Fug You…may be the master source…[A] funny, instructive, nourishing book.” Under the Radar, January 2012“Engaging from start to finish.” Buffalo News, 1/8/12“[A] hugely engaging book from the heart of America's mid-century bohemian circus.” DangerousMinds.net, 1/6/12
“This isn’t a wobbly sentimental journey. The writing is sharp, witty and full of precise detail and facts…What kept Sanders interesting from the very beginning is still very much in operation in this new book: the clarity of his bullshit detector and his irreverent take on virtually everything, including himself.”
The Wire (UK), January 2012“Ed Sanders is one of the real geniuses of the last 50 years…Fug You delivers everything it promises. It dishes dense details on early 1960s underground scenes we can scarcely imagine in the 21st century…A very funny book.”
Washington Post, 1/29/12
“A detailed…and often wistful memoir.”Rolling Stone, 2/16/12“Hippies will love tales of protests and of films of neighbors shagging in the name of art. It’s unclear whether Sanders’ attempt to exorcise the Pentagon of satanic forces succeeded, but his book, like the Fugs, proves ‘bacchic defiance’ can be truly inspiring.” TheMillions.com, 1/30/12
“There is glee in Sanders’ vivid telling, playing straight man to an absurd world.” Newark Sunday Star-Ledger, 2/5/12“In his rollicking memoir…Sanders catalogs both the witty and the horrifying during the tumultuous decade of protest, in which the Lower East Side moved from the Summer of Love to murder, heroin and rage.” WomanAroundTown.com, 12/26/11
“[Sanders’] got a wicked sense of humor and absolutely no filter for his opinions and observations.”
Village Voice blog, 2/17/12“Fug You is excellent and good fun.” Stuff I Like blog, 2/11/12
“Sanders is a smart guy, an entertaining writer, politically astute, and fortunate to be alive and involved in such a series of movements. Anyone who lived through the last gasps of hippiedom, the radical political scene of the ‘70s, New York City in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and lived and died with the pop culture of America these last few decades, will be entertained nostalgically by Fug You.” Mojo, February 2012“Boasts a wealth of stranger-than-fiction tales from [Sanders’] overlapping times as a taboo-breaking singer-songwriter, fearless anti-war protester, and operator of a censorship-testing arts magazine and Lower East Side bookstore…[His] explicit accounts are enhanced by vintage photos and illustrations from rare magazines, letters, and posters.” TheNervousBreakdown.com, 2/22/12
“A treasure trove of memories…A reminder that the Fugs were not just an ephemeral rock group but the very quintessence of the counterculture.” Midwest Book Review, February 2012
“A lively documentation of the entire experience [of the 1960s] not from a reporter’s vantage point, but from the viewpoint of an active participant.” Prague Post (Czech Republic), 3/7/12“This inspiring, enlightening book is a compendium of 1960s American culture enlivened by hilarious stories, unbelievable adventures and, surprisingly, more than a tab of humility…It is rare that a memoir of the 1960s captures not only the sense of excitement and infinite possibility of those halcyon days, but also the later, sober reassessment…One soon comes to realize Sanders' story is, in a way, the nation's story, as well. This is an invaluable publication for fans of Sanders and The Fugs, children of the '60s or anyone who wants to get a better sense of that legendary decade from one of the people who contributed to its genius, genial anarchy.”
Woodstock Times, 3/8/12“Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Jonas Mekas, Tuli Kupferberg…These counterculture luminaries and many others come to vivid life…A fascinating read…The book is liberally illustrated with photos and facsimiles of print pages from Sanders’ extensive archives, creating a compelling tapestry of the decade.” Blogcritics.org, 3/15/12“What makes Fug You special is how Sanders provides a nearly seamless bridge between the Beats of the fifties to the hippies of the sixties…This is a great history of the era by someone who shouldn’t remember things, but actually does. Ed Sanders still knows where the bodies are buried. Fug You is recommended for those like myself who were too young to know what was going on around us, or for that matter, for those who were there. It remains a fascinating time in our history, and Sanders tells his memorable story quite effectively.” TheThousands.com, 3/14/12“A fascinating road map to where folk, punk, peaceniks, beatniks, heroin, jazz, pot, speed, poetry, underground film, the underground press and the Lower East Side all crossed paths.”
KEXP.org, 4/2/12 “A joy to read…This memoir is delightfully illustrated with flyers for Sanders’ contemporaneous Peace Eye bookstore happenings and mimeographed creations; song lists for lusted-after bootlegs of The Fugs; and detailed by explanations of how all their songs were written and recorded…A book of freak genealogy and prophecy any fan of fringe rock and politics shouldn’t miss.” Chronogram.com, 3/30/12“One comes away from Fug You with renewed faith in the efficacy of sheer ballsiness…Fug You pulses mostly with triumphant fun and hope, eliciting a sense of gratitude that Ed Sanders still walks among us, well versed in darkness, sustained by light, and still beckoning to The Future.”
Blurt Online, 4/15/12
“A love letter to [Sanders’] fellow Fug, smelly hippie and one-time neighbor Tuli Kupferberg. Secondly it's about the making of artifacts—the story of how weird bands first got signed by major labels…what New York City felt like before gentrification…and how intellectuals like George Plimpton and politicos like William F. Buckley came sniffing around the counterculture looking to get laid/turned on. Lastly, it's about the dying breed of anything-goes artists like Sanders who risked personal freedom so that art could stay uncensored. Bless his Fugging heart.” San Francisco Book Review, 5/1/12
“Sanders has succeeded at a task that would stump almost anyone: he has managed to simultaneously tell his story and the story of an entire decade in a way that is both entertaining and meaningful. Fug You is a literature junkies idea of heaven. With his name dropping of both The Famous and The Dead, Sanders paints a picture of pure literary divinity. There really is not much to take fault with here. All in all this is a massively entertaining, highly informative and vastly inspiring account…I recommend this without hesitation to all! Well done Mr. Sanders.”
Los Angeles Review of Books, 5/15/12
“Fug You delivers everything it promises. It dishes dense details on early-sixties bohemian scenes we can scarcely imagine in the twenty-first century. There's all sorts of literary frolicking, debauched sex scenes, and vividly sordid drug scenes…Fug You is a goddamn bonanza of arcane bohemian trivia…Funny and fact-filled, it should be part of any decent library related to the decade that time will not forget.”
John Shelton Ivany Top 21, Issue #420“Unapologetic and often hilarious.”
“Charming and engaging.”
Flashback (UK)“Absorbing, funny yet balanced.”
Village Voice, 11/29/11
"[A] vivid memoir of the decade.Today's Occupy Wall Street movement can take, if not a lesson, at least inspiration (and perhaps solace) from Sanders's triumphs and travails." Publishers Weekly, 12/12/11 "[Sanders] engagingly depicts how the culture of New York City in the 1960s shifted from the beats to the hippies." � PopMatters.com, 12/5/11 "Sanders tells the story in a series of vignettes that are sometimes funny, occasionally frightening, and typically littered with the names of The Famous and The Dead.In the end this is a work that recalls with vivid and loving detail the haphazard glory of those wild, wild bygone times." � Hartford Advocate, 12/7/11 "Sanders ties all of his earliest threads-up to 1970-together in the most engagingly idiosyncratic memoir of the year.Indeed, now that his friend and mentor Allen Ginsberg is dead, Ed Sanders is the strongest living link between the Beat Generation, the hippies and all other underground currents that have trickled along the countercultural pipeline since then." � High Times, February 2011 "This brilliant memoir not only chronicles the band's early days, but paints an outrageous, inspiring picture of life among the artistic outlaws of New York's Lower East side in the '60's."
New York Post, 12/11/11 "Sanders.brings us back to those idealistic days."
Baltimore Sun, 12/8/11 "In short, impressionistic chapters, Sanders details his adventures, as well as his encounters with seemingly everyone who was anyone in the Beat and hippie scenes.Sanders provides a fly-on-the-wall view of many facets of a turbulent decade."
Metro Focus, 12/13/11 "In addition to Sanders' enlightening �personal take on New York in the '60s, the pages of Fug You are lined with wonderful gems from the poet's personal archive. Between the covers the reader will discover doodles by the likes of Burroughs and Sanders himself, rare Fugs concert photos and flyers, many drawings of cannabis leaves, intimate shots of Allen Ginsberg and other demented, wonderful esoterica."
�� New World Review, Vol. 5, Num. 28 "At its best, Fug You evokes the wide-eyed spirit of adolescence, with its delusions of purity and heartbreaking enthusiasm and dynamism." � Huffington Post, 1/3/12 "A picaresque chronicle of the 1960s filled with scrupulously documented recollections of Sanders's adventures and misadventures in poetry, politics, and rock 'n' roll." � Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/22/11
"It's the perfect gift for those seeking poignant and often hysterical historical precedent for their musically inspired civil disobedience.Regardless of your political or musical stripe, Fug You is a riveting account of a history that is still relevant today." � New York Times, 1/12/12 �"[Sanders] has described his 1960s in various ways over the years.but Fug You.may be the master source.[A] funny, instructive, nourishing book." � Under the Radar, January 2012 "Engaging from start to finish." � Buffalo News, 1/8/12 "[A] hugely engaging book from the heart of America's mid-century bohemian circus." � DangerousMinds.net, 1/6/12<>
An irreverent, hilarious, illustrated history of social revolution in New York's East Village in the sixties, as told by poet, publisher, and musician Ed Sanders.
About the Author
Ed Sanders co-founded the Fugs, opened the Peace Eye Bookstore, and appeared on the cover of Life magazine. He is the author of The Family and lives in Woodstock, New York.