- Title: Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps
- Author: Emmett Grogan
- ISBN: 9781590172865
- Page: 463
- Format: Paperback
Ringolevio is a classic American story of self invention by one of the mysterious and alluring figures to emerge in the 1960s Emmett Grogan grew up on New York City s mean streets, getting hooked on heroin before he was in his teens, kicking the habit and winning a scholarship to a swanky Manhattan private school, pursuing a highly profitable sideline as a Park AvenuRingolevio is a classic American story of self invention by one of the mysterious and alluring figures to emerge in the 1960s Emmett Grogan grew up on New York City s mean streets, getting hooked on heroin before he was in his teens, kicking the habit and winning a scholarship to a swanky Manhattan private school, pursuing a highly profitable sideline as a Park Avenue burglar, then skipping town to enjoy the dolce vita in Italy It s a hard boiled, sometimes hard to believe, wildly entertaining tale that takes a totally unexpected turn when Grogan washes up in sixties San Francisco and becomes a leader of the anarchist group known as the Diggers The Diggers, devoted to street theater, direct action, and distributing free food, were in the thick of the legendary Summer of Love, and soon Grogan is struggling with the naive narcissism of the hippies, the marketing of revolution as a brand, dogmatic radicals, and false prophets like tripster Timothy Leary Above all, however, he struggles with himself.Ringolevio is an enigmatic portrait of a man and his times to set beside Hunter S Thompson s stories of fear and loathing, Norman Mailer s The Armies of the Night, or the recent Chronicles of Bob Dylan, who dedicated his 1978 album Street Legal to the memory of Emmett Grogan.
Recent Comments "Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps"
An immensely faulty book--arrogant, hectoring, repetitive, self amused, not to mention fantastically sexist and homophobic with touches of serious racism--that still remains nonetheless somehow inspiring. Like so many memoirists of the 60s, Grogan is absolutely convinced he is right-- so much so that much of the book is given over to speeches he forces various leftist/radical groups to listen to about how they should do what they're doing. All of these speeches involve him showing up to a meetin [...]
A bit of a scumbag, a lousy lay, full of blarney, sometimes puerile and petty minded, after 400 pages I was fed up with this guy. Still, this was an interesting read.
This is the strange but true story of a working class Irish kid from NYC who eventually became one of the core founders of "The Diggers", a radical, anarchist, collective serving free food to people in Haight-Ashbury as well as providing free clothes, and some social services to folks during the Summer of Love. On the way to Haight Ashbury he works as a criminal in NYC, flees to Italy, lives there eventually studying film, goes to Ireland and works with the IRA, becomes a porn writer in London, [...]
Loved his story. An interesting book that is weirdly inspiring. Before you exit this review: hear me out. Although his lifestyle was quite flawed. (Drug addict, sexist, selfish) Emmett Grogan was unafraid of the cards life dealt him, he took it on the chin and was unafraid to fight for beliefs and do the things he wished to do.
I couldn't slog through the first 100 pages of egotisical self-mythologizing. I prefer Warhol's brand of self-promotion and ego marketing: at least it is honest lies. And I'd be honestly lying if I said I could finish this book.
I wrote this book. Signed, Emmett Grogan.
Una gran historia estropeada por un protagonista harto chulo y repelente. Está escrito hablando de él mismo en tercera persona y en la primera parte se hace llamar "Kenny Wisdom". En fin, tenía muchísimas ganas de leerlo y no lo pude acabar
I both love and hate this book. Boy-oh, boy-oh does it start good, describing a game of ringolevio on the streets of Little Italy in 1950s New York. Ringolevio is a sort of kid’s wargame in which the object was to capture the majority of the opposing team’s members and hold them in a “prison” while fighting off any attempt to free them. It’s a kid’s game, innocent and brutal at the same time. Grogan’s at his best here, limning the New York streets with hardboiled prose, slapping do [...]
A lot can be taken from the Grogan's Digger perspective: The bs rhetoric and media hungriness of Abbie Hoffman and other New LeftersThe bs psychedelic shamanism of leary The HIP merchants or Haight Independent Propeiters group that wanted to comidify hippiedom to the rest of the countryThe idea of giving things out for free: free food, clothes, health services, entertainment, law assistance etc. adding up to a Free City modelThe racial tension of blacks and puerto ricans in the lower east side a [...]
Is this truth and autobiography or more histrionics than history? I don't mind that Eugene "Emmett" Grogan calls himself Kenny Wisdom for this first act of this memoir any more than I care that Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five is not the real name of Vonnegut's comrade-in-arms Edward R. Crone, Jr. I don't know that anything is not factual here, it may all be psychologically correct. Grogan did not appear to care enough about fact checking as to filling in details like looking up the name of [...]
As a "good read" - not so much. As a faithful account, at least of the 1966 period when I knew the Diggers, the best you will find. Because he wrote about these events soon after they took place, this book is a reliable chronology and examination of the time and place - a far better resource than all the CNN, Monterey Pop, and Woodstock retrospectives that fixate on the same celebrities and the same hype.First a disclaimer, in that I have not read the entire book, but found a PDF of Part Three ( [...]
An amazing story. A really really amazing story. Emmett Grogan's account is nigh-on unbelievable but true though hyperbolic account of his rise from the streets of Brooklyn through heroin, high-class jewel thievery, the Mafia, Film school in Rome, the I.R.A and finally the Haight-Ashbury underground during the mid and late sixties. Some parts of the story are pretty hard to take especially when sexism, racism, or homophobia raise their heads. However the stories of the Diggers in the Haight-Ashb [...]
As is so often the case, my edition is not the one shown. I have a hardback published by Little, Brown and Company in 1972. For me, this is an extremely important 1st person history of little known aspects of North American underground radical history. Emmett Grogan was a major participant in founding the more recent version of the Diggers - who created free stores & free food programs. "Emmett Grogan", as a name, also eventually became a "collective identity" (aka: "multiple name") that pre [...]
What I learned from this book: I learned about Haight-Asbury and the "love child" era. I was actually the right age, but in the wrong place;I yearned to know more. Years later, when I read this book I was glad I never made it to San Francisco. But this book talks about the humanitarian efforts of Paul Grogan in rescuing, feeding and saving all of the hippies who tripped their brains out. His group was called the Diggers. More later.
Very good. I found it most surprising that I had never heard about Grogan in all the reading I have done about the 60s. He seems to have been so influencial and instrumental, and yetwell, they say that history is written by the winners. What I find most disturbing about the book is that he has such a negative opinion of the people and organisations I grew up to admire and that influenced my own political awareness. While it is a memoir, it is also an important alternative history.
"'This book is true.' But it doesn't mean it all happened." In Ringolvio: A Life Played for Keeps, Emmett Grogan willed himself a hero. (An idea I find really refreshing). Nice memoirs of living in the Bay Area in the 1960s, as well as NYC, Italy; there are passages that took place literally down the street from my apartment. One of the best openings I have read in awhile.
What al life, Grogan is no choir boy and parts of this book are brutal and dated - another era after all.Well written and no doubt exaggerated, total faction in short ruth morphed into drug fueled memory
Fascinating life and some of it very hard to believe. Though his faults are many the man accomplished much and had an impact. Amazing story of his early life and his times in SF during the 60's. gave it 4 stars and honestly found it hard to put down once I began.
God I loved this book, just a wild tale of growing up in a time of turmoil. I read this just after reading On The Road and Electric Kool Aid Acid Trip and loved it just as much as those.
Oddly inspiring but take it with a pinch of salt.
This book is hard to put down. I would have to say that some parts of it are not as believable as others, however if even half of it is true it's a he'll of a story
His self-righteous and self-mythologising tone grates a bit, but it's still an interesting take on the whole sixties counter culture blah, blah, blah
A fantastic book and autobiography. I can't believe that this man did all the things in the book.
This is the lost Beat masterpiece and the story of the original Digger.
Lies! Not complete lies, but lies nonetheless. While he may or may not have been the founder of the Diggers is irrelevant. It's a good yarn!
This book has been with me all of my adult life. I love it and hope you do, too.
the real story of the 60's maybe
Buy it, an alternative lifestyle
Picked up this book for its cover
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