Underground Press From The 1960’s: The Revolution Continues

Greg Beato examines 60’s underground press:



By 1962, Georgia State University historian John McMillian writes in his new book, Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, corporate consolidation was already in full effect. Twelve companies “controlled one-third of the circulation of the newspapers in the United States.” Cities that once boasted multiple competing titles were down to just one or two. Professionalism, objectivity, and the other values these papers aspired to made for a bland and cautious product that a new generation of readers found wanting. In 1964, an Esquire contributor named Art Kunkin, who dreamed of starting a West Coast, more anti-Establishment version of the Village Voice, started publishing the Los Angeles Free Press. It was, McMillian writes, “widely considered to be the youth movement’s first underground newspaper.”

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