The Vietnam War didn’t just end on its own.
It ended because of the relentless force of the antiwar movement, led by the heroic voices of the underground press. Read their stories in the four-volume Voices from the Underground Series of underground press histories being published by Michigan State University Press.
Government out of Control; Counterculture to the Rescue
The U.S. government was out of control, but so was a new generation of activist citizens known as the youth culture, the counterculture, the antiwar movement. If you only read the mainstream newspapers—the “straight” press, the “corporate” press—you wouldn’t have known about the following stories until they were old news:
- J. Edgar Hoover spied on citizens and kept extensive files on their legal activities.
- A rock concert with lots of groups celebrated three days of peace and music at Max Yasgur’s farm in New York in 1969
- The true history of our government’s secret war in Vietnam that so shocked the establishment when Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers.
Plus developments in the gender, race, ecology, age, energy, prisoners’ rights, and other liberation movements that planted their seeds during that period and are now part of the mainstream.
To readers of the underground press, these stories were read and discussed as they were happening, often by the people who were making the news, including the authors of the stories in Voices from the Underground.
Predecessors to Today’s Bloggers
Today, when you want to find out what progressives are thinking on current issues, you don’t read the corporate newspapers like New York Times or Washington Post. With today’s technology, you can go to independent blog sites like dailykos and huffingtonpost.
These sites, so vital to the health of our democratic society, didn’t appear out of nowhere. Most bloggers don’t know it. They may never have heard of them.
But their roots are in these same underground papers that sprang forth and blossomed during the Vietnam era thanks to what was then the new technology of offset printing.
They were united—every one of them—against the Vietnam War. But they also spoke to their own unique audiences, including the liberation movements that planted their seeds during that period and are now part of the mainstream. They represented the gay, lesbian, feminist, Black, Puerto Rican, Native American, socialist, Southern consciousness, psychedelic, prisoners’ rights, military, New Age, rank-and-file, and other independent voices of what was known in the sixties and seventies as the counterculture.
All 4 volumes of the amazing four-volume Voices from the Underground Series are now available. Order now and have one or more shipped to your door.
Four books: two anthologies and two monographs. Histories of Muhammad Speaks, San Francisco Oracle, Great Speckled Bird, Guardian, The Paper, off our backs, The Black Panther, Palante, Akwesasne Notes, Joint Issue, Flamingo Park Gazette, Aboveground, Freedom of the Press, Columbus Free Press, Fag Rag, Fifth Estate, Liberation News Service, Kudzu, The Furies, Penal Digest International, New Age, Free For All, It Aint Me Babe, Eugene AUGUR, Takeover, Both Sides Now, Denver Clarion, Space City!, Hundred Flowers, Avatar, The Ally, and others. All written by key players on each of the papers, in their own unique voices.
The Vietnam War ended because of the relentless force of the antiwar movement, led by the patriots of the underground press. The government spied on them, infiltrated their organizations, and attacked their leaders. But these heroes persisted and brought our soldiers home.
Voices from the Underground Series. Place your order now.
This site is dedicated in part to the grassroots veterans of the Vietnam era who used what was at the time the cutting-edge technology of offset printing to bring a cruel war of aggression to an end. Historian A. J. Liebling said, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” The veterans of the underground press owned the presses, said what they wanted and what the corporate press refused to say, and liberated the First Amendment, America’s most precious gift to the world. In so doing, they changed the terms of debate and hastened an end to an immoral war. At the same time, they gave voice to the emerging liberation movements and antiwar alternative voices of the era.
Later, veterans of the underground press were among the founders of the National Writers Union, the only labor union for freelance writers in all genres and at all ends of their respective careers. The National Writers Union, founded in 1981, was a natural outgrowth of these activists’ long years supporting labor unions in other industries and professions around the world but never having their own union. Today it is still fighting for the rights of freelance writers everywhere. This site is dedicated also to the National Writers Union.
In addition, this website is dedicated to our intergenerational peers, those activists who are the age now that we Vietnam era activists were then and who have joined us in progressive activism using today’s new electronic communication tools including Internet research, blogs, and other emerging technologies.