a review of
In The Time Of Job When Mischa Was a Zippie by Michele Dawn Saint Thomas (check facebook.com/msaintthomas for ordering info)
I didn’t know the Yippies were still around. As it turns out, they are still alive and well in 2021.
For those unfamiliar with the Yippies (formally the Youth International Party), they are a radical group that emerged during the 1960s that was notorious for its wild street theater, revolutionary anti-authoritarian politics, and humorous stunts like running a pig named Pigasus for president in 1968. The Zippie of the title were a Yippie faction.
Michele St. Thomas’ new book, In The Time Of Job When Mischa Was a Zippie, is a great introduction to the Yippie history and what they’re currently up to. While she bills it as being “based on the true-life adventures of a psychedelic time-traveling political revolutionary,” the so-called time-traveling aspects of the book are something of a minor distraction from what it really is: a wonderful collection of reminiscences, reflections, and archival art and images documenting the vibrant history of the Yippie movement.
The volume includes coverage of events like the protest of Nixon’s 1972 inauguration, Rock Against Racism concerts, the Tompkins Square Park Riot of 1988, and Occupy Wall Street, as well as reflections on rebels like Abbie Hoffman, Linda Beal, Timothy Leary, and John Trudell, Detroit’s 1960s counterculture scene, and marijuana legalization efforts during the 1980s.
In addition to the contributions of Thomas (AKA Mischa), the collection also features commentary from a variety of Yippies like Paul Krassner, Aron Kay, and Brenda Kershenbaum. It’s definitely worth checking out.
David Sands lives in Detroit.