From Bughouse Square to the Beat Generation


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Selected Ravings of Slim Brundage, Founder & Janitor of the College of Complexes

Edited & Introduced by Franklin Rosemont
Charles H. Kerr Publishing

Hobo, Wobbly, Soapboxer, veteran of Bughouse Square and the Dil Pickle, “little theater” playwright/actor, president emeritus of the Hobo College in the 1930s, housepainter, humorist and chief architect of the scandalous Beatnik Party during the 1960 elections, Brundage was very much a maker of of the history he writes about.

Franklin Rosemont’s introduction discusses the IWW/hobohemian roots of the College, outlines the Janitor’s radical (and Dadaist) critique of education, and relates Brundage’s life, the College and Chicago’s hobo/beat scenes to the broader struggles for a better, freer, truly eqalitarian and non-exploitative society.

“A very fine book on a great character and an important part of our real culture.”

–Studs Terkel

“Long before talk radio, opinionated Chicagoans declaimed at Bughouse Square (the Near North Side soapbox forum) or the Bug Club on the South Side. When forced indoors, debaters assembled in saloons or salons such as the Montparnasse, Seven Arts, Dil (sic) Pickle Club and the College of Complexes. This new book gives an inside view of this lively bit of history.”

Chicago Sun Times

“If you wish to see the so-called ‘beat generation’ in action, drop in at the College of Complexes. “

–Dorothy Kilgallen (1960)


Additional information

Weight 9.4 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 in


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