NSA Whistleblowers For Dummies, Part Two
The CIA’s attacks on "Ramparts" magazine would make for a grim beginning to this narrative, if not for the comic genius of the magazine’s editor, Warren Hinckle.
I remember Hinckle’s columns in the "San Francisco Examiner" when I was younger — the black eyepatch and the scowl; a fellow Oakland Raider fan, I assumed.
Just recently, I found a copy of Hinckle’s 1973 memoir about the 1960s and "Ramparts" magazine, “If You Have A Lemon, Make Lemonade.” It’s one of the funniest, smartest, and most surprising works of American lit I’ve read. It’s like a better and non-fiction “Ginger Man” by Donleavy, only it takes place in the Bay Area in the 60s, in the vortex of some of the most important events in contemporary American history. Before reading his book, I expected Hinckle to be a grim, self-absorbed old hippie bore, a Tom Hayden type — in fact, Hinckle was a reactionary in the nerve center of the left-wing San Francisco Revolution. An active agent of upheaval, as the editor of the most fearless investigative reporting magazine in America. He despised the left, but it was a cheerful kind of loathing, without malice. Hinckle also was responsible bringing Hunter S Thompson’s “gonzo” invention public at Hinckle’s follow-up magazine, "Scanlan's Monthly." Not "Rolling Stone."
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