Voices from the Underground
Wachsberger believes strongly that the significance of the hundreds of free newspapers published during the Vietnam era has been underestimated. "The Vietnam War didn't just end on its own," he writes on his website, voicesfromtheunderground.com. "It ended because of the relentless force of the antiwar movement, led by the heroic voices of the underground press."
Equally passionate in person, Wachsberger emphasizes the "incredible diversity that was the underground press. Blacks, the Puerto Ricans, the military antiwar movement, the union workers, the Southern [activists] ... The antiwar movement was the broadest, most diverse moment in the history of the country. It wasn't a bunch of crazies on the left!"
A Cleveland native, Wachsberger was radicalized after being arrested and thrown into solitary during a student sit-in at MSU in 1970. He dropped out of school for years to work on undergrounds, first in East Lansing and then at papers around the country. He tells his own story in Volume One, which, along with Volume Three, collects articles by twenty-eight veterans of papers like Off Our Backs, the Akwesasne Notes from the Mohawk nation, and the San Francisco Oracle.