Posts from December 2010
Posted by Carole Stuart on December 27, 2010
OUT GOES 2010 – IN COMES 2011
Julian Assange is either a hero or a monster or a creep depending on who is describing him. But takes courage to leak documents that are judged “secret” I learned that when I started to work for Lyle Stuart who took on censorship by publishing THE KAMA KALA by today’s standards pretty tame. At the time even nude statues showing sexual positions were forbidden. THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK in 1971 became an underground best seller. William Powell, the 21 year old found all the “recipes” for making Molotov cocktails and bombs in books available in the public library– all public documents. Most of the “recipes” did not work, but every college student had to have it. Most booksellers would not stock it but it managed to sell and sell.
TURNER DIARIES was a novel of racist propaganda only available by mail. The Publisher wanted a wider distribution. Lyle agreed to do it only if he could write an introduction to our edition. In the introduction he wrote, “THE TURNER DIARIES is a dreadful book. It is ignorant. Even its author boasts, ‘It offends almost everyone; Afro-Americans, feminists, gays and lesbians, liberals, communists, Mexicans, democrats, the FBI, egalitarians, and Jews, Especially Jews: for it portrays them as incarnations of everything that is evil and destructive.’”
Many attacked us for publishing it but in the introduction he went on to say “I have fought censorship all of my adult life. To me, the most precious of all rights in this marvelous country called the United States of America is the freedom to think, write, and say whatever is on your mind, subject to the laws of libel. …No one needs a First Amendment to write about how cute newborn babies are…nobody needs a First Amendment for innocuous ideas or popular points of view. …You and I must always protect the right of the minority – even a minority of one – to express the most outrageous and offensive ideas. Only then is total freedom of expression guaranteed.”
The question is: can information hurt? Or does too little information hurt more?
An example of information helping is about my friend, Ted Koryn. He grew up in Holland but his family fled at the beginning of World War II after his mother read, in German, Hitler’s MEIN KAMPF. She said, “We are getting out of Europe.” It was all there, Hitler’s grand plan, for anyone who read MEIN KAMPF. Should KAMPF be banned – or studied.
WHAT’S UP AT BARRICADE?
Some months ago I told the history of our publishing Rick Porrello’s THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLEVELAND MAFIA after discovering his family’s background. His notorious grandfather and three uncles were all connected to the mob. It is the only book to describe the first top-level meeting of the Sicilian-American Mafia and offers the first in-depth look at the life of Angelo “Big Ange” Lonardo.
After the Cleveland Mafia book Porrello self-published To Kill The Irishman now a major film due to be released in March. Its stars include Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Paul Sorvino and Ray Stevenson as Danny Greene, the Irishman of the title. Porrello also runs the website americanmafia.com a great site to check if you are looking for other mob information and books.
We of course are jumping on the opportunity to reissue THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLEVELAND MAFIA in paperback with a new introduction and new cover. It will be available in March, $16.95. (Order from us and get a 20% discount or from your favorite bookseller).
PAUL KRASSNER WINS PEN AWARD
I’ve known Paul Krassner for more years than I can recall. He’s been my friend and author. Our lives and families have intertwined for many years. A few years ago Barricade published his “Murder at the Conspiracy Convention “ with an introduction by George Carlin. It’s still available.
Paul has long been known as the voice of the underground, and daring founder of The Realist, Recently, he received an honor he well deserves from PEN Oakland.
PEN International, a Nobel Prize-winning organization devoted to defending freedom of expression, was founded in 1921. PEN Oakland (dubbed the “Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times) was founded in 1989 by Ishmael Reed and co-founders Floyd Salas, Claire Ortalda and Reginald Lockett. The Oakland chapter was created as a “multicultural” conclave to “promote works of excellence by writers of all cultural and racial backgrounds and to educate both the public and the media as to the nature of multicultural work.”
Below is an excerpt from Gar Smith’s column as it appeared in The Berkeley Daily Planet
Earlier this December, more than 100 literary buffs descended on the Rockridge Library and squeezed their way into a crowded upstairs meeting room to celebrate the winners of PEN Oakland’s 2010 Josephine Miles Literary Awards.
PEN Oakland director and poet Gerald Nicosia introduced Paul Krassner as founder of The Realist, cofounder of the Yippies, confederate and editor for Lenny Bruce, and the author of a half-dozen books. Nicosia added a little-known note from Krassner’s long counter-cultural resume (which includes the accolade, “Court Jester to the Revolution”). During a stint as a radio DJ in New York, Krassner got into trouble for broadcasting advice on safe and professional abortion services. Krassner’s advocacy drew the attention of the authorities and resulted in a New York court trial. This trial, Nicosia
noted, eventually lead to the historic Supreme Court ruling, Roe versus Wade, which legalized the choice option for America’s women.
Krassner was the crowd’s favorite. The applause that erupted as he hobbled toward the podium quickly gave way to a standing ovation (and what better way to salute a stand-up comic?). Despite turning 78 in April, Krassner still radiates the same boyish exuberance that has endeared him to readers and cabaret crowds for more than five decades. Krassner’s only concession to age would appear to be the sturdy cane he leans on, but his bum leg is not a sign of aging — it’s the legacy of a police beating he sustained in the Sixties.
As the author of “Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut” and other counter-culture classics, Krassner admitted some embarrassment at receiving the honor. “After spending most of my life as an iconoclast,” he said, he found it strange that he has come to be “treated as an icon.” But he expressed his deep appreciation for one aspect of the award. “I’m thankful that his plaque is not being awarded posthumously.” Krassner spoke about his current project: “Writing my first, long-awaited (at least by me) novel.” He related how he had complained to a friend that writing a novel is such an intense, creative process. “Why is it so hard?” his friend asked. “You’ve spent your whole life making thing up.” “Yes,” Krassner replied, “but that was journalism!”
To read the entire article, please go online to the December 14 issue of The Berkeley Daily Planet
Coming in early 2011: Gaming the Game: The Inside Story of the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It All Happen by Sean Patrick Griffin (author of Black Brothers, Inc.)
We are publishing a book revealing the whole story of the NBA betting scandal, the case that sent Jimmy “Baba” Battista (the gambler) and Tim Donaghy (the ref) to prison along with Tommy Martino (the intermediary). This trio of guys who knew each other from childhood were involved in an elaborate system of betting on games officiated by Donaghy. Sean Griffin whose BLACK BROTHERS INC was a best seller in the Mid-Atlantic region, was fascinated by the story of big-time illegal sports gambling involving the daily, secretive movement of millions of dollars via offshore sportsbooks. Starting in March 2008, Sean got to spend many hours with Jimmy Battista, whose personal “code of honor” prevented him from speaking with the Feds and he paid the price – prison. As such, authorities – like the general public – for the first time will be hearing how, where, and why the betting was done when they read GAMING THE GAME.
If you think the ex-ref Donaghy, who penned his own book last year and has appeared in many media forums, was telling the whole story about the betting, and about the federal investigation, you’ve got to read this book. You will also learn about the tight-knit fraternity of the world’s heavyweight gamblers with whom Battista bet, who wagered in sums and in ways that most of us have never imagined. I addition to his extensive interviewing of Battista, Sean has reviewed confidential law enforcement files, court transcripts, referee and betting statistics, and Battista’s betting records. He has traveled around the U.S. interviewing current and federal law enforcement officials, sportsbooks manager, bookies, and other pro gamblers to make this a definitive account of the scandal and of big-time sports betting.
SOME PERSONAL STUFF
This being the end of the year I’ll indulge myself by writing about what’s going on in my family.
Carla (my niece) and her twins Daniel and Benjamin (almost 8) are excellent. Carla is busy in sales and self-improvement seminars. The boys manage to be good kids and are very cute and very tall.
Jenni and Brad and the three boys, Dylan, Justin and Jackson have adopted two kittens, Mookie (all black, female) and Sylvester (black and white, male)
Rory is scheduling music work for this summer and already has offers for performances and workshops in Italy, Israel, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.
Happy Holidays – until next year
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