Allen Cohen (Ed.) - The San Francisco Oracle facsimile edition (1991)

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The San Francisco Oracle facsimile edition

A complete set of the original magazines is virtually impossible to get. This is a very good alternative.

Allen Cohen (Ed.) - The San Francisco Oracle facsimile edition. The Psychedelic Newspaper of the Haight Ashbury 1966-1968. Facsimile edition of one of the best Sixties underground magazines: The San Francisco Oracle. Content: Introductions by: Metzner, Hoffman Ram Dass and Levine (Recollections), Allen Cohen (Origins, Acknowledgments, the making off the Oracle Facsimile and a Brief History) and J.M. Jamil Brownson (An additional historical note). All issues are faithfully reproduced. The facsimile edition was limited to 1,700 copies. Color end-plates are by Rick Griffin

Condition: Minor traces of use of the covers; Minor damage at the upper and lower part of the inside front cover and the spine. Overall condition: Very Good.
Hardcover 1st Edition 1st Printing. Publisher: Regent Press, Berkeley, CA. Year: 1991.
Size: 36.3 x 28.6 cm. Pages: 388. Language: English. Seller inventory: #25760.

Background information

San Francisco Oracle - In the Summer of 1996, the Progressive Labor Party put out one issue (the renegade issue), which they called P. O. Frisco. P. O. stood for Psychedelic Oracle. The reaction from the Haight community was unenthusiastic. As a follow-up The (City of) San Francisco Oracle was published by editors Gabe Katz, Steve Levine and Allen Cohen, in 12 issues between September 1966 and January 1968 as a tabloid newspaper. At its height 100,000 copies were circulated. The San Francisco Oracle was together with a number of copycats, the finest example of the psychedelic publications in the USA. The Oracle was also the psychedelic newspaper of the Haight-Ashbury community consisting tracing its rise in 1966, its peaking during the Summer of Love in 1967, and its later fall. It guided the hippies in the Haight-Ashbury area through their LSD voyages. The Oracle was the first underground paper that consciously tried to integrate itself into the community it served. All the usual suspects of the Sixties underground contributed to the newspaper: Buckminster Fuller, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, John Sinclair, Norman Mailer, Allan Watts, Gary Snyder, Timothy Leary, Chet Helms, Rick Griffin, Michael McClure, Michael Bowen, Jerry Rubin, William Burroughs and others.

The Oracle was the most exiting graphically experimental newspaper. It was the first paper to take advantage of low-cost offset printing. The split-fountain techniques which gave rise to the famous rainbow and kaleidoscopic color effects that were a signature feature of many underground publications were invented by the editors of the Oracle, who realized that they could use the presses as a paint brush by placing different colors of ink in the ink wells and allowing them to merge and blend in unpredictable ways.

Refs: Robert J. Glessing (1970) The underground press in America (Indiana University Press, Bloomington) pp. 23-24, 39-40; Laurence Leamer (1972) The paper revolutionaries. The rise of the underground press (Simon and Schuster, New York) pp. 33-34, 51; Allen Cohen (Ed. 1991) The San Francisco Oracle facsimile edition. The psychedelic newspaper of the Haight-Ashbury 1966-1968 (Regent Press, Berkeley, CA); Andrew Sclanders (2004) Beat Books catalogue 38 (Beat Books, London); Geoff Kaplan (2013) Power to the people. The graphic design of the radical press and the rise of the counter-culture, 1964-1974 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago) p. 86.

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