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Paul Krassner


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Paul Krassner published The Realist (1958-2001), but when People magazine labeled him “father of the underground press," he immediately demanded a paternity test.  And when Life magazine published a favorable article about him, the FBI sent a poison-pen letter to the editor calling Krassner “a raving, unconfined nut.” “The FBI was right,” George Carlin responded. “This man is dangerous — and funny, and necessary.” While abortion was illegal, Krassner ran an underground referral service, and as an antiwar activist, he became a co-founder of the Yippies (Youth International Party).

Krassner's one-person show won an award from the L.A. Weekly. He received an ACLU (Upton Sinclair) Award for dedication to freedom expression. At the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, he was inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame — “my ambition,” he claims, “since I was three years old.” He won a Playboy Award for satire and a Feminist Party Media Workshop Award for journalism. And in 2010 the Oakland branch of the writers organization PEN honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. “I’m very happy to receive this award,” he concluded in his acceptance speech, “and even happier that it wasn’t posthumous."

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Patty Hearst & The Twinkie Murders: A Tale of Two Trials
Author: Paul Krassner
Publisher: PM Press/Outspoken Authors
ISBN: 978-1-629630-38-0
Published: 10/01/2014
Format: Paperback
Size: 7.5x5.5
Page count: 128
Subjects: Satire/History-US
$12.00


Patty Hearst & The Twinkie Murders is a darkly satiric take on two of the most famous cases of our era: the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, and the shocking assassination of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and gay leader Harvey Milk. As a reporter for the Berkeley Barb, Paul Krassner was ringside at the spectacular California trials. Krassner's deadpan, hilarious style captures the nightmare reality behind the absurdities of the courtroom circus.

Using his infamous satiric pen and investigative chops, Krassner gets to the truth behind the events: the role of the police and FBI, the real deal with Patty and the SLA, and what really happened in Patty’s infamous closet.

Plus: A merciless exposé of the "Taliban" wing of the gay movement and their scandalous attacks on alt-rock star Michelle Shocked.

Also featured is our Outspoken Interview, an irreverent and fascinating romp through the secret history of America's radical underground. Names will be named.

Praise:

“Krassner is an expert at ferreting out hypocrisy and absurdism from the more solemn crannies of American culture.”
New York Times

“Krassner has the uncanny ability to alter your perceptions permanently.”
Los Angeles Times

“Krassner not only attacks establishment values; he attacks decency in general.”
—Harry Reasoner, ABC News

“The FBI was right—this man is dangerous—and funny, and necessary.”
—George Carlin

“As soon as we decided to create the Huffington Post, I knew I wanted Paul Krassner involved.”
—Arianna Huffington

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Events

For a calendar of speaking events, please click here

Blog

  • DYING TO KNOW: Leary, Ram Dass, and Me
    Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary is a unique documentary that serves as an important slice of countercultural history. Peppered with poignant wit, it inspires boomers and millennials alike. I’ve been truly fortunate to have this...
  • The Six Dumbest Decisions of My Life
    I’m talking here about seriously dumb decisions, not those minor regrets like that time in 1970 when Esquire magazine assigned me to fly to New Mexico where director Monte Hellman was filming Two-Lane Blacktop, about street-racing.

What Others are Saying

Mentions/Interviews

Reviews

 

The price of justice? Read Paul Krassner’s Patty Hearst & the Twinkie Murders
examiner.com
November 24th, 2014

Reading Paul Krassner is like imbibing LSD: describing it ain’t nothing like experiencing it. PM Press, a relatively new publishing outfit, has a great series called Outspoken Authors, which is nothing short of mind expanding, strangely serendipitous and desperately needed today. Everyone you ever wanted to read but were afraid to admit you didn’t know is here: Michael Moorcock, Ursula Le Guin, Cory Doctorow and a host of other. Hopefully, this list will grow and increase, but in the meantime they have a bouquet of Paul Krassner material to warm the heart of any aging radical or hippy, and instruct and educate anyone young and interested in the history of the United States.


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San Francisco in the 70s...
By Ron Jacobs
Counterpunch
Weekend Edition November 28th-30th

Like I stated before, just like his predecessors Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain and Lenny Bruce (to create an unlikely trinity of men who plied a trade in satire), Paul Krassner understands satire’s purpose. He is a master at exposing the truths beyond and behind the presented facts and their manipulation by the powers that be. Utilizing humor, quality reporting, and a healthy and essential sense of the absurd is what made his magazine The Realist such fun for so many years. HIs latest offering, Patty Hearst & The Twinkie Murders, continues the tradition.

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Paul Krassner On Harvey Milk, the Yippies, and Talking to Dolphins After Dropping Acid
By Mary Reinholz
Bedford & Bowery
November 17th, 2014

BB_Q(1) Your latest book is a collection of updated articles on the Patty Hearst kidnapping, bank robbery and trial and also on the assassinations of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and gay supervisor Harvey Milk by a white homophobic cop. These are sensational cases, but how are they relevant today?

BB_A(1) Well, I was in the courtroom every day, I coined “the Twinkie Defense,” I had underground sources, and mainstream reporters gave me stuff they couldn’t publish. Both trials had aspects that are still absurd, unjust and informational. The book (available at my website) is definitely relevant today. I’m getting positive feedback from young millenials and aging counterculturals alike.

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Mind Control, American Style
By Joseph E Green
Dissenting Views
October 16th, 2014

“Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts,” William S. Burroughs once said. For his part, Paul Krassner once pointed out to television host Tom Snyder that “conspiracy and paranoia are not synonymous.” In his new book, Patty Hearst & the Twinkie Murders: A Tale of Two Trials, counterculture Hall of Famer* and former Realist publisher Krassner gives us an inside view on two incidents that prove out both those statements. Both were enormous public sensations at the time."

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Prince of Gadflies
Dangerous Minds
October 10th, 2014

"Paul Krassner started his trailblazing periodical of radical countercultural satire, The Realist, in 1959 as a reaction to what he saw as a lack of humorous political commentary targeting the sometimes ridiculous, often ominous issues of the day.  His intention was to create sort of an adult MAD magazine, a publication to which he was frequent contributor.  The Realist became one of the most celebrated underground publications of all time and, with the exception of a hiatus between 1974 and 1985, remained in print until 2001. "

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Prince of Gadflies
By Robert Birnbaum
Our Man in Boston
October 15th, 2014

"...Paul Krassner a patriarch of the radical “new journalism” of the 1960s is one of those wise people. I first ran in to him at a University of Illinois (Chicago)lecture and there after became an appreciative reader of his incendiary and satirical magazine, The Realist. And that discovery was at a moment when having your “mind blown” was still a novelty..."

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