The San Francisco Oracle (Facsimile Edition)

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9780916147112: The San Francisco Oracle (Facsimile Edition)
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The San Francisco Oracle, published in the Haight-Ashbury from 1966 to 1968, was one of the most unique and beautiful publications of the 60's. It is remembered for it's extraordinary graphic design by major San Francisco artists, its rainbow colors and the cultural explorations and breakthroughs in its articles, interviews and poetry. At its height, over 120,000 copies of each issue of The Oracle were printed and distributed, and each copy was read by many people. The Oracle is quoted and praised in most of the histories of the 60's. Writers who appeared in The Oracle include: Gary Snyder, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts, Stephen Levine, Lenore Kandel, Tim Leary, Michael McClure, Paul Krassner, Buckminster Fuller, Carl Rogers, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Robert Theobald, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others. Artists include many of the great San Francisco Poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelly, Bruce Conner, Michael Bowen and Gary Grimshaw. During the 60's there was an incredible surge of creative innovation in journalism. In response to the mainstream medias control of information regarding the Vietnam War, the anti-war movement and the cultural changes that were sweeping America, every large city, many college campuses and even some high schools created their own underground newspapers. Out of this creative ferment arose one publication that burst the boundaries of the newspaper format both in graphic and in written content; The San Francisco Oracle. The Oracle printed artwork in bold colors, merging written content and artistic vision. At times it was difficult to tell if the paper was reflecting the changes in the new culture or originating them. Its style and technical innovations were copied by many of the alternative papers and some of the more adventurous mainstream media. The Oracle is now a cherished legend. Those who remember it compare its beauty to the medieval illuminated manuscripts and the illustrated books of Blake and Dori.

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If the New Age Movement is a religion, these idealistic explorations into the personal experience and social implications of 'mind expansion'are part of its canon. From the Aquarian Age to Native American shamanism, Eastern mysticism, communal living, utopian revolution, sexual liberation, ecological awareness and the socio-spiritual implications of psychedelics, the Oracle provides source documents of an eclectic spirituality and social philosophy that continue to exert a widespread;albeit subtle;influence on American society. -- The San Francisco Chronicle

The fantastic graphics of the Oracle, many wrapped around pages or double spreads of text, were mostly printed in black and white, but many glowed in deep reds, fuchsias, blues, oranges and yellows produced in a printing process now extinct. Regent Press has brought them back to life through what must have been maddeningly laborious handwork on the press; here indeed is the old Oracle in all its Oriental opulence. Open any page and you are back on the streets of the Haight-Ashbury in a time when that tiny urban spot was the Olympus of the newborn world. -- The New York Times Sunday Book Review

From Library Journal:

This full-color re-creation in book form of all 12 issues of the psychedelic newspaper published in Haight-Ashbury from 1966 to 1968 provides a unique historical record for students of the 1960s, representing the works of the Beat poets, the hippies, and the followers of the anti-war movement. Famous for publishing such writers as Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, William Burroughs, Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Buckminster Fuller, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the tabloid also was well-known for its artwork, graphic designs, and rainbow colors. Editor Cohen, who was one of the paper's founders, contributes a fascinating history of the publication and its creators and contributors. Despite a table of contents, the book's usefulness as a reference is weakened by the lack of an index, and its $175 price (due to the archival paper used to preserve the book's historical value) makes this facsimile edition an optional purchase for libraries.
- Melinda Stivers Leach, Precision Editorial Svces., Wondervu, Col.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Cohen, Allen
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Cohen, Allen
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