As publisher of the satirical magazine "OZ" - the hippies' handbook and monument to psychedelia - Richard Neville was at the centre of a cyclone of radicals, rock musicians, artists and hustlers. "OZ" was at the forefront of the '60s underground movement, featuring articles by Germaine Greer, groundbreaking design by pop artist Martin Sharp and cartoons by Robert Crumb.
When the magazine was tried for obscenity at the Old Bailey, John Lennon and Yoko Ono marched in protest and John Peel, George Melly and Edward de Bono were among its defendants.
Now updated to include a chapter on the legacy of flower power a generation later, Richard Neville demythologises the 1960s in this hilarious, colorful and provocative memoir of the times.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages, 16pp integrated b/w, 8pp f/c insert, f/c endpapers
- Publisher: Duckworth Overlook
- Publication Date: 26/11/2009
- Category: True stories
- ISBN: 9780715637807
- EPUB from £3.83
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Review by sanddancer
Richard Neville was the editor of the hippie alternative magazine Oz which was prosecuted for obscenity and corrupting society. The book starts with Neville as a teenager with his first job as a copywriter and editor of a college magazine, but most of it is concerned with his time in London. The author moves through the events in breakneck speed, without ever going into much depth on some incidents which surely would have been interesting, but the heady pace perhaps does suit the subject. Tellingly at one point he does say that he became an editor because he wasn't a very good writer!There is a large cast of people in the book, including some famous names, but very few of them come to life for me and most still seemed like little more than names even by the end. I was also struck by how the majority of the people were middle or upper class kids just playing at being radicals. This is especially true of the author himself. Where the book does come into its own is in the retelling of the Oz trial. Several chapters are devoted to this so it is looked at in an in-depth way which would have benefitted other aspects of the book. The premise of the trial offers an eye-opening perspective on how strict society was back in those days. The trial itself was pretty much a farce so provided some entertaining anecdotes as well as food for thought.