Smoking Typewriters

Hello Brandeis! I hope you all had a fabulous break, with time to rest and recuperate.

I encourage everyone to come to a great event this Thursday!

Smoking Typewriters

March 3, 2011

Pearlman Lounge


Meet historian John McMillian on Thursday, March 3, at 6p.m. in Pearlman Lounge. McMillian will give a reading from “Smoking Typewriters,” followed by Q&A. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

How did the New Left uprising of the 1960s happen? What caused millions of young people–many of them affluent and college educated–to suddenly decide that American society needed to be completely overhauled? (And what exactly was the Great Banana Hoax?)

In Smoking Typewriters, historian John McMillian shows that one answer to these questions can be found in the emergence of a dynamic underground press in the 1960s. Many of those who produced these often subversive pamphlets, booklets, and newspapers became targets of harassment from local and federal authorities.

Underground newspapers captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s, speaking directly to their readers. They reflected and magnified the spirit of cultural and political protest. And without the underground press, would we have today’s zines, blogs, and citizen journalists?

“Much of what we associate with the late 1960s youthquake — its size, intensity, and contrapuntal expression of furious anger and joyful bliss — might not have been possible without the advent of new printing technologies that put the cost of newspaper production within reach of most activists.” – John McMillian, “Smoking Typewriters”

“Seen with fresh eyes by a talented young scholar, Smoking Typewriters tells an important–and entertaining–story about modern American culture and its endless upheavals.” –Richard Parker, Paul W. Williams Professor of Criminal Justice, Harvard University.

John McMillian is an assistant professor of history at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he specializes in studying 20th century social movements and the Vietnam War Era.