Power to the People: On the American Underground Newspaper

The American underground newspaper is a phenomenon both decidedly and ambiguously, well, American. Drawing its name from the underground presses and resistance networks that circulated among real and imagined communities along the European front in World War II, the alternative press-affiliated newspapers and zines embraced freedom of the press, low-cost offset printing, social distribution through channels ranging from freak-streeted headshops and anti-war political offices to grocery stores on college campuses.

In Power to the People: The Graphic Design of the Radical Press and the Rise of the Counter-Culture1964—1974, Geoff Kaplan assembles more than 700 full-color images and excerpts from these publications, many of which have not been seen since they were first published almost fifty years ago. Alongside the images, he explores how the new media of the radical press marked a watershed moment in the history of American graphic design, where political engagement and critical self-representation created an archive of activist innovation that offered a story counter to that of mainstream culture. 



To see a gallery of images from Power to the People: The Graphic Design of the Radical Press and the Rise of the Counter-Culture: 1964—1974, please click here.