Aug/Sept, Volume 13, Number 10

Ramparts magazine

This “New Left” magazine ran from 1962–1975.

Both Mother Jones and Rolling Stone, to name just two magazines, were founded by former Ramparts staff members.


"Ramparts magazine was born outside of San Francisco in 1962 as a sober literary quarterly, a “forum for the mature American Catholic.” It was serious but it was dull. Its first issue resembled, one designer said, “the poetry annual of a Midwestern girls school.”

A funny thing happened to Ramparts, though, on its way to the graveyard of hapless small magazines. It lost religion, picked up a vibe in the Bay Area air and, like the understudy from “Hair” who goes on to become Janis Joplin, morphed into something wild: a slick, muckraking magazine that was the most freewheeling thing on most American newsstands during the second half of the 1960s.

Ramparts had bite and style and sometimes even heart. It printed the Eldridge Cleaver prison letters that became “Soul on Ice,” and hired Cleaver on staff. It published Che Guevara’s diaries. In 1967 it ran a photo essay called “The Children of Vietnam” that led the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize America’s involvement in that war for the first time."
—Dwight Garner for New York Times