Just in time for Christmas, I am pleased to announce the publication of Sticking It To The Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980, a follow up to 2017’s Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980, edited by Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette.
My contributions include pieces on YA social-problem novels including Kristin Hunter’s The Soul Brothers and Sister Lou, Gloria Miklowitz‘s The Love Bombers and Arnold Madison‘s It Can’t Happen to Me. I also cover the lady-detective genre in essays on Lee McGraw’s Mike Hammer satire Hatchett, and James D. Lawrence’s (the man behind Christopher Cool) Dark Angel series.
I am joined by more than two dozen more writers discussing three decades of pulp paperback writers who achieved their aim of…. sticking it to The Man.
From civil rights and Black Power to the New Left and gay liberation, the 1960s and 1970s saw a host of movements shake the status quo. The impact of feminism, anticolonial struggles, wildcat industrial strikes, and antiwar agitation were all felt globally. With social strictures and political structures challenged at every level, pulp and popular fiction could hardly remain unaffected. Feminist, gay, lesbian, Black and other previously marginalised authors broke into crime, thrillers, erotica, and other paperback genres previously dominated by conservative, straight, white males. For their part, pulp hacks struck back with bizarre takes on the revolutionary times, creating fiction that echoed the Nixonian backlash and the coming conservatism of Thatcherism and Reaganism.
Sticking It to the Man tracks the ways in which the changing politics and culture of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s were reflected in pulp and popular fiction in the United States, the UK, and Australia. Featuring more than three hundred full-color covers, the book includes in-depth author interviews, illustrated biographies, articles, and reviews from more than two dozen popular culture critics and scholars. Among the works explored, celebrated, and analysed are books by street-level hustlers turned best-selling black writers Iceberg Slim, Nathan Heard, and Donald Goines; crime heavyweights Chester Himes, Ernest Tidyman and Brian Garfield; Yippies Anita Hoffman and Ed Sanders; best-selling authors such as Alice Walker, Patricia Nell Warren, and Rita Mae Brown; and myriad lesser-known novelists ripe for rediscovery.
Contributors include: Gary Phillips, Woody Haut, Emory Holmes II, Michael Bronski, David Whish-Wilson, Susie Thomas, Bill Osgerby, Kinohi Nishikawa, Jenny Pausacker, Linda S. Watts, Scott Adlerberg, Maitland McDonagh, Devin McKinney, Andrew Nette, Danae Bosler, Michael A. Gonzales, Iain McIntyre, Nicolas Tredell, Brian Coffey, Molly Grattan, Brian Greene, Eric Beaumont, Bill Mohr, J. Kingston Pierce, Steve Aldous, David James Foster, and Alley Hector.
“From the profane to the sacred, this scholarly, obsessive volume reveals forgotten tribes of Amazons, Soul Brothers, Hustlers, Queers, Vigilantes, Radical Feminists and Revolutionaries—the radical exploitation of gnostic pulp.”
—Jon Savage, author of 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded
“This is the ultimate guide to sixties and the counter culture, of which I was a part. Long hair, bellbottoms, short dresses, and a kiss-my-ass attitude to the powers that be. Real meat on real bone, the stuff of one of the most unique and revolutionary generations ever, baby. You need this.”
—Joe R. Lansdale, author of the Hap and Leonard Series
“This book is a story about stories—the rough-and-tumble mass fiction of the 1950s to the ’80s, written to offend The Establishment and delight the rest of us. In Sticking It to the Man, McIntyre and Nette offer us a fascinating smorgasbord of (un)savory tales—the kind whose covers entice and whose texts compel. These are the novels that provided us with our guiltiest reading pleasures of the mid-to-late Twentieth Century. They are reviewed by the critics who understand them best, and who give us lively insights into the historical and social forces in play as they were being written. The authors represented range from top-of-the-line famous to almost anonymous, and they all have something chewy to say. Plus—you have the added fun of enjoying reproductions of those wicked pulp paperback covers. You had better buy two copies!”
—Ann Bannon, author of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles
“Oh, the man has been stuck! Get ready for a wild ride through the worlds of ground breaking novels of gay life, thug life, and working-class struggles on three continents, while learning about the social significance of many marginalized works of “pulp fiction.” America still isn’t ready to stand and look at itself (to paraphrase one author quoted in these pages), but this book has done its job and sent me back to the originals. Now I have a bunch more books to put on my must-read list. And you will, too.”
—Kenneth Wishnia, editor of Jewish Noir and author of 23 Shades of Black