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Radical Chapters
Pacifist Bookseller Roy Kepler and the Paperback Revolution

Michael Doyle

Cloth $29.95    |    978-0-8156-1006-9    |    2012

"In Kepler’s you could find a pre-Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia playing the guitar in the back room or Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak shopping for engineering books, writes Washington journalist Michael Doyle in his scholarly Radical Chapters (Syracuse University, $29.95). Less an ode to the San Francisco Bay Area bookstore than an authoritative biography of its iconoclastic owner, ‘Radical Chapters’ opens with Roy Kepler’s years as a conscientious objector in World War II and focuses on the 1960s, when Kepler managed Joan Baez’s finances and taught a new generation how to protest. Doyle, who visited Kepler’s as a boy and interviewed the owner before his death, believes that Kepler saw the bookstore mainly as a means to support his family, but pacifism was his mission."—The Washington Post
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"In generous, elegant prose, Doyle traces Kepler’s life and times from World War II, as a radical pacifist, antinuclear activist during the Cold War and antiwar activist from the Vietnam War to his death in 1994. But as Doyle asserts, his creation—"one of the most influential bookstores in American history"—has a life all its own that continues today. Doyle also chronicles in a dozen profiles the entire sociocultural history of California from the 1950s to the present—a sort of populist manifesto with a notable cast of counterculture characters from Joan Baez and Ken Kesey to Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. It’s a breathtaking read, worthy of the singular bookstore."—San Francisco Chronicle Review
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"Doyle has produced a genuine contribution to American social and cultural history!”"—Scott Bennett, author of Radical Pacifism: The War Resisters League and Gandhian Nonviolence in America, 1915–1963

"A good bookstore is a garden of ideas, and Kepler’s was one of the best. Nourished by Roy Kepler’s curiosity, sense of social justice, and kindliness, it particularly fed the minds of young beatniks like Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and Willie Legate.”"—Dennis McNally, author of A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead

  Radical Chapters Pacifist Bookseller Roy Kepler and the Paperback Revolution



View video by author, Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle   Michael Doyle is a reporter in the Washington, DC, bureau of the McClatchy newspaper chain. He holds a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University and a master of studies in law from Yale Law School, where he was a Knight Journalism Fellow. He is the author of The Forestport Breaks: A Nineteenth- Century Conspiracy along the Black River Canal.

6 x 9, 416 pages, 8 black-and-white illustrations, bibliography, index

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