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Playpower Paperback – 28 Jan 1971

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Paperback, 28 Jan 1971
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New e. edition (28 Jan. 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586080422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586080429
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 11.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 496,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Published in the summer of 1970, Playpower was the work of Australian hippie entrepreneur and writer, Richard Neville. He was the publisher of OZ magazine (1967-73), which, in May 1970, published the infamous Schoolkids Issue that led to the trial of OZ editors Richard Neville, Felix Dennis, and Jim Anderson, at the Old Bailey under Judge Michael Argyle. It was the longest trial under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act. The defendants were found guilty and sentenced to up to 15 months imprisonment. This was later quashed on appeal by the lord chief justice Lord Widgery. The politics of play. The strategy which converts the Underground to a brotherhood of clowns; the lifestyle which unites a generation in love and laughter.In Chicago, its Pigasus the pig for President and Abbie Hoffman throwing kisses to a bewildered jury. In Nanterre its a horse nominated by students for local councillor...In Keele, it's students celebrating the unusual sun by frolicking naked on the campus...The politics of play.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Lonnborg on 1 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this little gem around the time it was first published, yes man I am that old !!! So much head fun had gone on between then and now I had not only lost the book but also lost the memory of the contents. Written by one of the founding editors of Oz magazine this book gives an excellent insight into the UK in the 60's era. Whether, like myself, you are an aging freak and survivor of these times or are a younger dude exploring what was probably one of the most life changing times of that century this account is spot on. Did the revolution happen ? Well if you are non white and were thankfully born post times when guest houses or employers could stipulate No Blacks, when hotels would not allow a black guy to use the front entrance. If you are a female who is not classed as a second rate citizen and earning the same rate of pay as male colleagues. If you believe that it is a better world that protects the environment and dislike war and wish for peace and no nuclear bombs well you can bet your whatever that it did happen and it did work. It was just so peaceful that maybe only a few attribute some of the better areas of life now to as it was then a result of the revolution. For whatever reason this book is worth the dosh and the time taken to read it. Rock on folk !!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating history of three years of social radicalism 28 May 2009
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Richard Neville was one of the big figures of the 1960s youth scenes. After making a name for himself by founding the subversive review OZ in Australia, for which he faced an obscenity trial, he went on to issue his conterculture publication from the UK while roaming the world to report on what the "Underground" was up to. PLAY POWER is an exhaustive (300 pages) compilation of anecdotes about the Underground scene, mainly 1967 to early 1970, with a few references back to the American civil rights movement or Beatnik predecessors.

The book has very little structure, being simply a series of self-contained writings charting some event or trend that caught Neville's interest. At first this can be a little confusing, but the reader is soon absorbed in these three years of wild happenings. Neville describes topic from making love behind the Paris barricades in May 1968 to roaming the Istanbul-Kathmandu trail, from young people sleeping rough in Amsterdam to how to buy dope or even grow your own. There are sad vignettes like the plight of Europeans sentenced to thirty years in a Turkish prison for minor drug offences (though do a web search on the Dutchman, the story has a somewhat happy ending), and heartwarming bits such as an old man's reminisces about joining the Underground after a long life as a straight.

In the last part of the book, "The Politics of Play", Neville draws a useful distinction between the Underground and the New Left, two scenes which tend to be conflated in stereotypical depictions of the 1960s today. For Neville, the New Left is about working hard and working cooperatively, while for the Underground there's no desire to work at all. While the New Left sought to give work to all, the Underground shrugged off the 9 to 5 order and focused on whatever gave them pleasure, and someone they managed to get by. At a time when digital technology and telecommuting offers people an unprecedented opportunity to make money while still traveling wherever they wish, Neville's views have a renewed importance.

Neville writes about these massive social changes with obvious delight, feeling that these self-empowered young people are a wave of the future, sure to cast the old order aside. That the Underground pretty much evaporated after the book was published makes this optimism rather poignant. But Neville's chronicles are not entirely rosy, for he does soberly discuss trends in the Underground such as conning "straights" out of their money, knowingly writing bad cheques, or turning to prostitution for quick cash. Still, one mostly can't help share his enthusiasm for the promise of this era.

For anyone interested in the radicalism of the late 1960s, Neville's book is a must-read. It is sad that it fell out of print--though it is so much of its time that a new edition would be hard to come up with--but seek it out on the used market with zeal. If your interests are on the Istanbul-Kathmandu route specifically, you'll find the book an important contemporary account to supplement later histories like David Tomory's A Season in Heaven: True Tales from the Road to Kathmandu.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating chronicle of three years of social radicalism 28 May 2009
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Richard Neville was one of the big figures of the 1960s youth scenes. After making a name for himself by founding the subversive review OZ in Australia, for which he faced an obscenity trial, he went on to issue his conterculture publication from the UK while roaming the world to report on what the "Underground" was up to. PLAY POWER is an exhaustive (300 pages) compilation of anecdotes about the Underground scene, mainly 1967 to early 1970, with a few references back to the American civil rights movement or Beatnik predecessors.

The book has very little structure, being simply a series of self-contained writings charting some event or trend that caught Neville's interest. At first this can be a little confusing, but the reader is soon absorbed in these three years of wild happenings. Neville describes topic from making love behind the Paris barricades in May 1968 to roaming the Istanbul-Kathmandu trail, from young people sleeping rough in Amsterdam to how to buy dope or even grow your own. There are sad vignettes like the plight of Europeans sentenced to thirty years in a Turkish prison for minor drug offences (though do a web search on the Dutchman, the story has a somewhat happy ending), and heartwarming bits such as an old man's reminisces about joining the Underground after a long life as a straight.

In the last part of the book, "The Politics of Play", Neville draws a useful distinction between the Underground and the New Left, two scenes which tend to be conflated in stereotypical depictions of the 1960s today. For Neville, the New Left is about working hard and working cooperatively, while for the Underground there's no desire to work at all. While the New Left sought to give work to all, the Underground shrugged off the 9 to 5 order and focused on whatever gave them pleasure, and someone they managed to get by. At a time when digital technology and telecommuting offers people an unprecedented opportunity to make money while still traveling wherever they wish, Neville's views have a renewed importance.

Neville writes about these massive social changes with obvious delight, feeling that these self-empowered young people are a wave of the future, sure to cast the old order aside. That the Underground pretty much evaporated after the book was published makes this optimism rather poignant. But Neville's chronicles are not entirely rosy, for he does soberly discuss trends in the Underground such as conning "straights" out of their money, knowingly writing bad cheques, or turning to prostitution for quick cash. Still, one mostly can't help share his enthusiasm for the promise of this era.

For anyone interested in the radicalism of the late 1960s, Neville's book is a must-read. It is sad that it fell out of print--though it is so much of its time that a new edition would be hard to come up with--but seek it out on the used market with zeal. If your interests are on the Istanbul-Kathmandu route specifically, you'll find the book an important contemporary account to supplement later histories like David Tomory's A Season in Heaven: True Tales from the Road to Kathmandu.
PLAYPOWER 29 Nov. 2014
By gcd - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
IT'S written by a hippie without much of a brain

TOO MUCH DRUG USE

if you can make it through 2 pages of this dirge, see a therapist.

I burnt my copy in a satanic sacrifice.

give me a call
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