Dancin' in the Streets!

Anarchists, IWWs Surrealists, Situationists & Provos in the 1960s

edited by Franklin Rosemont, and Charles Radcliffe
with contributions by Leonora Carrington, Paul Goodman, Cornelius Castoriadis, Penelope Rosemont, T-Bone Slim, and Fred Thompson
Publication date: March 2005

Paperback: $17.0
   * Purchase from AK Press
Hardcover: $25.0
   * Purchase from AK Press
<blockquote><i> The dreamkillers won't have finished working over the 1960s until they flatten the soaring visions of that decade into petty quarrels between vanguardists and aspiring Democratic Party functionaries. They won't be done until they turn the movement into one without humor, without poetry, and indeed almost without motion. But dreamkilling just got lots harder. This brilliant collection gives us back the audacity, imagination, energy, laughs, wildness and chance that animated freedom dreams that are as alive today as they were 40 years ago." </i> -David Roediger </blockquote> <p> Most books on the 1960s focus on large liberal organizations and reformist politics. This one is unabashedly devoted to the far left of the far left. The Rebel Worker was a mimeo'd magazine started by young members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Chicago, 1964. Multi-racial and working class, they were inspired not only by the hobo wisdom of the Wobblies, but also by surrealism. While square critics derided them as "the left wing of the Beat Generation," The Rebel Worker and its sister journal Heatwave in London became well known for their highly original revolutionary perspective, innovative social/cultural criticism, and uninhibited class-war humor and cartoons. Rejecting traditional left dogma, and proudly affirming the influence of Bugs Bunny and the Incredible Hulk, these playful rebels against work expanded the critique of Capital into a critique of daily life and developed a truly radical theory and practice, rooted in poetry, provocation, blues, jazz and the pleasure principle. Active in strikes, free-speech fights and other tumults, they also ran the IWW's celebrated Solidarity Bookshop and introduced countless readers to writings by surrealists, situationists, IWWs, anarchists, libertarian Marxists, Provos, Japanese Zengakuren, etc. </p> <p> Here for the first time in book-form are dozens of selections from both of these legendary journals, with lengthy introductions by Franklin Rosemont (editor of The Rebel Worker) and Charles Radcliffe (editor of Heatwave). </p> <p> More pre-publication comments on Dancin' in the Streets: </p> <blockquote><i> "Look here for links between the Beat Generation and the later Underground Press, but also between traditional Marxist theory and the new "critique of everyday life" developed by an increasingly defiant and countercultural young left that made Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancin' in the Streets" its international anthem."</i>-Paul Buhle </blockquote> <blockquote><i> "Thanks for Dancin'! We surely need it!" </i> -Diane di Prima </blockquote> <blockquote><i> "A remarkable collection, full of interesting material. If I were still an editor, I would be looting stuff from it." </i> -Colin Ward (editor of the London <i>Anarchy</i>, 1960s) </blockquote> <blockquote><i> "A very handsome book, and an important history of an era and a milieu." </i> -Lorraine Perlman </blockquote> <blockquote><i> "I really enjoyed Dancin' in the Streets. I didn't agree with it all, but what the hell! It has given me many hours of pleasure." </i> -Ken Weller (a mainstay of the London Solidarity group from the early 1960s on) </blockquote> <blockquote><i> "Here is the missing link of books on the Sixties, an essential text: It tells a lot of heretofore untold stories and fills in a lot of gaps." </i> -Ron Sakolsky </blockquote> <blockquote><i> "More than other recent collections, Dancin' has a certain surreal punch stemming from the exponential contrast between its pure youthful spirit and the current miserabilism. Anyone with any life in them will want to flip all the way back and pick up the lost thread of those days." </i> -Joseph Jablonski </blockquote>