Iain McIntyre is a Melbourne-based author, musician and community radio broadcaster who has written a variety of books on activism, history and music. Recent publications include Wild About You: The Sixties Beat Explosion in Australia and New Zealand, and Tomorrow Is Today: Australia In The Psychedelic Era, 1966-70.
Since 2011 McIntyre has co-curated the Australian Museum of Squatting on-line archive which collects together radical photos, articles, stories and ephemera related to squatting movements. 2012 saw Ledatape publish McIntyre’s Sticking It To The Man: Pop, Protest and Black Fiction of the Counterculture, a collection of book jackets and reviews of novels published between 1964 and 1975. In the same year McIntyre helped compile the Down Under Nuggets: Original Australian Artyfacts 1965-1967 CD compilation with David Laing and Ian Marks.
On the Fly! Hobo Literature and Songs, 1879–1941
Editor: Iain McIntyre
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 416
Subjects: Literature/U.S. History-20th Century
From the 1870s until the Second World War, millions of Americans left their homes to board freight trains that would carry them vast distances, sometimes to waiting work, often to points unknown. Congregating in skid rows, socializing around campfires, and bringing in the nation’s crops, these drifters were set apart from conformist America by a lifestyle possessing its own haunts, vocabulary, and cultural, sexual, and ethical standards. Alternately derided and lionized for their footloose ways and nonconformity, hoboes played a crucial and largely neglected role in the creation of not only America’s infrastructure, industry, and agriculture but also its culture, politics, and music.
The first anthology of its kind, On the Fly! brings forth the lost voices of Hobohemia. Dozens of stories, poems, songs, stories, and articles produced by hoboes are brought together to create an insider history of the subculture’s rise and fall. Adrenaline-charged tales of train hopping, scams, and political agitation are combined with humorous and satirical songs, razor sharp reportage and unique insights into the lives of the women and men who crisscrossed America in search of survival and adventure.
From iconic figures such as labor martyr Joe Hill and socialist novelist Jack London through to pioneering blues and country musicians, and little known correspondents for the likes of the Hobo News, the authors and songwriters contained in On the Fly! run the full gamut of Hobohemia’s wide cultural and geographical embrace. With little of the original memoirs, literature, and verse remaining in print, this collection, aided by a glossary of hobo vernacular and numerous illustrations and photos, provides a comprehensive and entertaining guide to the life and times of a uniquely American icon. Read on to enter a world where hoboes, tramps, radicals, and bums gather in jungles, flop houses, and boxcars; where gandy dancers, bindlestiffs, and timber beasts roam the rails once more.
“This book is a tantalizing boxcar ride back through the history of the hobo, all told from the hobo’s point of view. What more could anyone ask?”
—Paul Garon, coeditor of What’s the Use of Walking When There’s a Freight Train Going Your Way: Black Hoboes and Their Songs and author of Blues and the Poetic Spirit
“On the Fly! gathers and reassembles forgotten fragments of a lost counterculture that was once so vast it practically defined the working-class experience in the United States. Its call was so alluring to young men of all classes that the hobo became the most commonly depicted character in American popular culture between 1900 and 1920. This collection represents the view from within, the stories and perspectives of those who lived the life of The Road, carrying its burdens and glorying in its freedoms. On the Fly! is indispensable for understanding not only the hobo life but also the on-the-ground history of our urban industrial order.”
—Todd DePastino, author of Citizen Hobo: How a Century of Homelessness Shaped America
“A wonderful and definitive collection of hobo prose, poetry, and song. Iain McIntyre has painstakingly collected a rich array of hobo writing that together speaks to the rich and varied lives these itinerant travellers inhabited along the iron highway.”
—John Lennon, author of Boxcar Politics: The Hobo in U.S. Culture and Literature, 1869–1956
“On the Fly! is a brilliant introduction to the subject, and more than that, a moving tribute to the creativity of men and women at the margins of society.”
—Paul Buhle, coeditor of Wobblies! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World
“On the Fly! is a wide-ranging, fascinating collection of primary sources about homelessness from the era that defined the rise and, in the 1930s, the crisis of industrial society in the U.S. Well-known writers like Jack London, Jim Tully, and Tom Kromer are represented, but what sets this volume apart from many studies is its emphasis on first-person views of the experiences of the homeless themselves. This is social history at its best.”
—Kenneth L. Kusmer, professor of history at Temple University, author of Down and Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History
Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980
Editors: Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette • Foreword by Peter Doyle
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 336
Subjects: History-Pop Culture / Literature
Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behaviour, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. From the juvenile delinquent gangs of the early 1950s through the beats and hippies, on to bikers, skinheads, and punks, pulp fiction left no trend untouched. With their lurid covers and wild, action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society’s deepest desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves.
Girl Gangs features approximately 400 full-color covers, many of them never reprinted before. With 70 in-depth author interviews, illustrated biographies, and previously unpublished articles from more than 20 popular culture critics and scholars from the US, UK, and Australia, the book goes behind the scenes to look at the authors and publishers, how they worked, where they drew their inspiration and—often overlooked—the actual words they wrote. Books by well-known authors such as Harlan Ellison and Lawrence Block are discussed alongside neglected obscurities and former bestsellers ripe for rediscovery. It is a must read for anyone interested in pulp fiction, lost literary history, retro and subcultural style, and the history of postwar youth culture.
Contributors include Nicolas Tredell, Alwyn W. Turner, Mike Stax, Clinton Walker, Bill Osgerby, David Rife, J.F. Norris, Stewart Home, James Cockington, Joe Blevins, Brian Coffey, James Doig, David James Foster, Matthew Asprey Gear, Molly Grattan, Brian Greene, John Harrison, David Kiersh, Austin Matthews, and Robert Baker.
“Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats is populated by the bad boys and girls of mid-twentieth-century pulp fiction. Rumblers and rebels, beats and bikers, hepcats and hippies—pretty much everybody your mother used to warn you about. Nette and McIntyre have curated a riotous party that you won’t want to leave, even though you might get your wallet stolen or your teeth kicked in at any given moment.”
—Duane Swierczynski, two-time Edgar nominee, author of Canary and Revolver
“The underbelly of literature has been ignored for too long. This book redresses that imbalance, as over twenty authors explore low-life fiction in Australia, the UK, and the USA. Thoughtfully written and delightfully accessible, this is a book for all seasoned readers.”
—Toni Johnson-Woods, author of Pulp: A Collector’s Book of Australian Pulp Fiction Covers
“The authors of this volume have paid their dues. They’ve haunted the junk shops and flea markets, combed through the ratty cardboard boxes, smelled the mildew, inhaled the dust. They’ve turned a fresh and fearless eye to the unambiguously collectible, blue-ribbon 1950s and ’60s pulps, and then turned that same awareness to later material, from the ’70s—and they’ve identified a surprisingly durable pulp tradition which we can refer to as ‘tribe pulp,' a tradition which to my knowledge hasn’t been really named till now, certainly not as clearly and cogently as here.”
—From the foreword by Peter Doyle, author of City of Shadows and The Big Whatever
How To Make Trouble and Influence People: Pranks, Protests, Graffiti & Political Mischief-Making from across Australia
Author: Iain McIntyre
Foreword by Andrew Hansen
Publisher: PM Press
Published March 2013
Size: 8.25 by 8.25
Page count: 288 Pages
This book reveals Australia’s radical past through more than 500 tales of Indigenous resistance, convict revolts and escapes, picket line hijinks, student occupations, creative direct action, street art, media pranks, urban interventions, squatting, blockades, banner drops, guerilla theatre, and billboard liberation. Twelve key Australian activists and pranksters are interviewed regarding their opposition to racism, nuclear power, war, economic exploitation, and religious conservatism via humor and creativity. Featuring more than 300 spectacular images How to Make Trouble and Influence People is an inspiring, and at times hilarious, record of resistance that will appeal to readers everywhere.
“I noticed clear back on my first visit in ’83 that radical Aussies fighting back seem to be far more tenacious and creative than most Americans—Roxby Downs, that damned Franklin dam in Tasmania, Operation Titstorm, etc. A far better way to heat up the planet than your lovely mining companies. So keep up the good work! A prank a day keeps the dog leash away.”
“A fascinating recovery of Australia’s neglected past and a worthy inspiration to today’s would-be troublemakers.”
—Sean Scalmer, author of Dissent Events: Protest, The Media and the Political Gimmick in Australia
“The perfect book for enlightened coffee tables.”
—Rachel Evans, Green Left Weekly
“If you’ve ever thought of speaking out about an issue or have idly wondered what you could do to make the world a better place, this is the book for you! Fascinating interviews, quirky historical snippets and stunning photos chronicling all the Australians who have made a difference and who have done so with courage, audacity and a lot of humour! Keep it on your desk at work for all those moments when you need some inspiration, a bit of hope or just a good laugh.”
—Jill Sparrow, co-author Radical Melbourne 1 & 2
“Fascinating interviews with Australia’s best troublemakers make for a riotous scrapbook covering our radical history of revolts and resistance.”
—Rachel Power, Australian Education Union News
“McIntyre has amassed hundreds of tales alongside dramatic photographs in what is unashamedly a songbook for Australia’s future culture-jammers and mischief makers.”
—Katherine Wilson, The Age
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For a calendar of speaking events, please click here
Interviews, Mentions and Other
- How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Yes! Magazine
- How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Socialist Party Australia
- How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Green Left Weekly
How to Make Trouble and Influence People: A Review
by Madeline Ostrander
July 8th, 2014
Some of the events described here are sobering, especially the 18th- and 19th-century accounts of violent uprisings led by Aboriginal groups and rebellions staged by convicts—and even bloodier reprisals from authorities and settlers. But subversive wit has also been a powerful force throughout Australia’s history: In 1876, a group of Irish political prisoners escaped by posing as Americans, commandeering a boat, and unfurling an American flag. In 1911, Australia’s burgeoning labor unions plastered the sides of lampposts with slogans like “A bad day’s work for a bad day’s pay.” In 1986, a group of activists stole a $2 million Picasso painting from the National Gallery of Victoria and held it for ransom to demand an increase in arts funding, then quietly returned it weeks later. In 2009, the “Ministers of Energy, Resources and Silly Walks,” wearing suits and bowler hats, joined hundreds of protesters at a polluting coal power plant to urge that it be decommissioned.Read more | Buy book now | Download e-book now | Read Reviews | Back to the top
How to Make Trouble and Influence People: A Review
By Meredith Jacka
Socialist Party Australia
November 4th, 2013
‘How to make trouble and influence people – Pranks, protests, graffiti and political mischief making’ provides a brief yet diverse historical account of Australian radical politics over the last 225 years.
But unlike many other history books, this one is delightfully easy to read, you can pick it up and open it to any page and you’ll learn something. It could be about a convict uprising in 1798 or anti nuclear activists in 1986.
There’s no need to sift through dry, academic, text book style stuff, Iain McIntyre has done that for us, with the result being an aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible resource book for anyone interested in progressive activism.
How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Recommended Summer Reading
By Rachel Evans
Green Left Weekly
In this beautifully-designed book, Melbourne-based author Iain McIntyre reveals the vital history of creative resistance in Australia. It is told through stories of Indigenous resistance, convict escapes, picket-line high-jinks, student occupations, creative direct action, media pranks, urban interventions, squatting, blockades, banner drops, street theatre and billboard liberation...