A Bomb in Every Issue

How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America

A lavishly praised “lively history”(Los Angeles Times) of Ramparts—the magazine that brought the New Left into American living rooms in the ‘60s and made an indelible imprint on American journalism

“This book satisfies on every level.” —The New York Times Book Review

A Mother Jones “Best Book of 2009,” A Bomb in Every Issue uncovers the largely untold story of Ramparts magazine, the spectacular San Francisco muckraker that captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s and repeatedly scooped the New York Times, changing American journalism forever.

Launched in 1962 as a Catholic literary quarterly, Ramparts quickly transformed into a “radical slick,” winning a George Polk Award in 1967 for its “explosive revival of the great muckraking tradition.” According to the Los Angeles Times, the magazine “not only blew the cover off the biggest stories of the era, it also helped set the ideological agenda for its core demographic, the New Left, and forced the mainstream press to follow its lead.”

Ramparts’ list of contributors—including Noam Chomsky, César Chávez, Seymour Hersh, Angela Davis, and Susan Sontag—formed a who’s who of the American left. Although Ramparts folded for good in 1975, former staffers founded Rolling Stone and Mother Jones and include some of the most illustrious names in journalism (names like Robert Scheer, Jann Wenner, and Warren Hinckle), and Ramparts remains an inspiration to investigative journalists today.

Praise

“It's a great delight to see this key chapter in the history of American journalism at last get the readable, judicious history it deserves.”
—Adam Hochschild, author of Half the Way Home and Bury the Chains
“Richardson tells Ramparts’ story in jaunty prose . . . with delightful anecdotes.”
Chicago Sun-Times
“An excellent history that shouldn’t be ignored.”
—Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior
“Richardson has peppered his account with lively comments, most of them from reporters who cut their eyeteeth in newspapers long before the 1960s.”
San Francisco Chronicle