The Rag Blog :
METRO EVENT | ‘Celebrating The Rag’
at BookPeople

The editors of the acclaimed new book about Austin’s iconic underground newspaper speak and sign books on Thursday, January 5.

Thorne Dreyer, left, Alice Embree, and Richard Croxdale, editors of Celebrating The Rag, will appear at Book People, January 5, 2017.

UPDATE: The event at BookPeople was a tremendous success, with an enthusiastic overflow crowd. Celebrating The Rag editors Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, and Richard Croxdale spoke, led discussion, and signed books. Artist Kerry Awn and photographer Alan Pogue also offered some memories and joined in the signing. The event was rebroadcast on Rag Radio. Listen to it here.

Celebrating The Rag at BookPeople, Friday, January 6, 2017. Photo by Alan Pogue / The Rag Blog.

SECOND CHANCE: There will be another event, this one at the Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe St., Austin, from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, February 19. Dreyer, Embree, and Croxdale will speak and Glenn Scott will introduce a partial screening of People’s History in Texas’ documentary film about The Rag. It will be free and open to the public.

Event: ‘Celebrating the Rag’
What: Discussion and Booksigning
Who: Editors Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, Richard Croxdale
When: Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, 7 p.m.
Where: BookPeople
Address: 603 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78703
Phone: 512-472-5050
Cost: Free and open to the public

AUSTIN — Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, and Richard Croxdale, editors of the new book, Celebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper, will speak and sign books at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar in Austin, on Thursday, January 5, 2017, at 7 p.m.

Copies of Celebrating The Rag will be available for purchase at the event.

Celebrating The Rag tells the remarkable story of the legendary underground newspaper that sparked a political and cultural revolution and helped make Austin weird.

The book features more than 100 articles from The Rag’s 11-year history, plus contemporary essays and vintage art and photography. This collection captures the radical politics and subversive humor that marked the pages of this upstart newspaper between 1966 and 1977.

The folks at BookPeople describe The Rag and the book this way:

The story of radical Austin is the story of the renowned underground newspaper The Rag. The stories in the Rag brought radical thought, action, art, belief, and protest to the Austin public in the 60s and 70s, when independent thought along the Drag was both desperately needed and heartily welcomed. The Rag was a pipeline of information and ideas to other hotbeds of creativity and unrest, and Celebrating the Rag is both a beautiful volume and a fitting tribute to the wacky original. Join editors Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree and Richard Croxdale in honoring an iconic Austin publication.

Thorne Dreyer was the original “funnel” of The Rag in 1966. He now edits The Rag Blog and hosts the syndicated Rag Radio program. Austin activist Alice Embree, a veteran of the women’s movement and progressive politics, worked with the paper through much of its history. Richard Croxdale, who was involved in The Rag‘s later years, is a producer of People’s History in Texas’ documentary film about The Rag.

Celebrating The Rag can be found in Austin at BookPeople, BookWoman, Antone’s Record Shop, and all Planet K and Oat Willie’s stores. It can be purchased online at,, and Barnes & Noble, and is available through Ingram.

BookPeople is the largest independent book store in Texas.

  • Go to the Facebook event page here.
  • See the event post at BookPeople here.
  • Learn more about Celebrating The Rag here.
  • See Thomas Zigal’s Rag Blog review of the book here.
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10 Responses to The Rag Blog :
METRO EVENT | ‘Celebrating The Rag’
at BookPeople

  1. darms says:

    Hello, was at the BookPeople event 1/5/17 & enjoyed it quite a bit. Was 10yo in 1966 so I missed “the Rag” but I was a voracious reader & remember “Hookah”, “The Iconoclast” & “Buddy” magazine from my time in Dallas circa 1971. (I’m too broke to buy your book but will read it at APL) I asked the question about ideological argument within “the Rag” staff WRT the coup at KOOP radio that ousted Jim Ellinger & a number of the people who put KOOP on the air. (KOOP’s first mixing board came to life on my tech bench here at my house) Thorne’s answer was a bit vague but every time I’ve tried to get involved in political activism in Austin I’ve been hit either by the same ‘leftier than thou” philosophy or the “Hitler mentality” when little people get a little bit of power like in our neighborhood associations. Sorry, I am a straight white male but I hate right wing authoritarians like the the plague & don’t get why my SWM affiliation apparently disqualifies my as a left-leaning activist.*
    Had a question for Richard which I did not ask. When he spoke of the early 70’s disillusionment w/political change coupled w/a retreat into a cultural bubble of listening only to ‘friendly’ people & media, how does that compare & contrast with today’s “epistemological isolation” as practiced by many Trump supporters & xtians? My guess it’s about the same thing only with a lot more $$$. The funny part is that the Donald’s mansion in FL & many of his worldwide properties are very close to sea level & as the ocean’s rise (due to the ‘myth’ of ‘global warming’) it will be difficult for him & his minions to deny same when the ocean reaches his properties and is lapping at their feet.
    Thanks for doing what you do.
    *it’s kinda weird but I am actually very conservative in many areas but it is an obsolete kind of conservative, the kind that sez “don’t fix what ain’t broke” and let the gummint protect “we the people” from unaccountable multinational corporations. Also the idea that ‘corporations are people’ is total bs – I won’t believe that corporations deserve the same rights as people until TX executes one. Also when I first moved to Austin (1984) I had the misfortune of working for two ex-hippies (who likely bought ads from you in the 1970’s) who screwed me over but good…

  2. jojo says:

    Now I’m glad I didn’t go. Is there any space in Austin that is safe from whites with antique axes to grind?

    • The discussion at BookPeople was upbeat and our book is an homage to the important historical role played by The Rag. We ground no antique axes. If you’re referring to the remarks above by “darms,” his short comment came during the Q&A session after the editors’ presentation.

      Incidentally, there was a large and receptive audience. We had a lot of fun.

  3. jojo says:

    Thanks. Yes it was in regard to darms. I like the Rag bunch.

    • darms says:

      Jojo, if I offended then I apologize, I didn’t intend to offend. I am truly curious as to the ‘leftier than thou’ syndrome I’ve seen many times and was pleased to hear the Rag folks tell me they did not experience this. Perhaps it’s a new development. I am interested in understanding this as it seems to me that Austin’s (& perhaps other communities) left-leaning organizations tend to be self-defeating in this regard. As per the KOOP coup d’etat in the late 90’s dunno what you know about that but it was not pretty – FWIW their first mixing board (from KMFA) first came to life on my tech bench here at my house & I furnished the cardboard we used to design the shapes of the first studio furniture & delivered much of the wood we used to build the stuff in my pickup. I donated much time & gear to get them on the air (still remember bringing Bob Nagy the line choke that killed the hum & allowed us to use the transmitter the first day on air). As far as me being a SWM so what, my sympathies were and always have been w/the oppressed & the victimized and there’s been more than a few times I have regretted being what I am…
      It doesn’t appear that the Tea Party folks have the same in-fighting issues that the left seems to have which means they are effective while we are not. Can you share some insight into that or are you yet another one of the ‘leftier than thou’ folks?

  4. darms says:

    One last mention – the stuff at KOOP is ancient history & is long since over & done. Basically I have been told to “write what I know” & that history to a large extent I know. Why it is relevant today is the apparent disconnect between Sanders supporters & Clinton voters. I have read many articles WRT Sanders supporters not voting for Ms. Clinton. In real life I do not know that many people and of the ones I know that voted Trump were those that would always prefer an R to a D. Likewise the Clinton voters I know were always going to vote for her. Personally I voted for Sanders in the primary but Ms. Clinton in the main. I have also read many news stories about the Clinton campaign disdaining any advice from the Sanders folks which likely cost Ms. Clinton the election. The entire point of my comments has been to discern whether this infighting among supposed leftys is a new phenomenon or whether it goes back a long time. From the very limited feedback I have received it appears this infighting is a relatively recent thing. My last point is that while tea partiers & R ‘s seem to ostensibly disagree w/one another, in the end they put aside their differences and vote together meaning now we have ‘the Donald’. Is there a way the left can do the same? Thanks for your time & I will move to another topic…

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