Ramparts stands with a handful of 20th-century American magazines — Playboy, the Harold Hayes-era Esquire, Rolling Stone, Spy and Wired — whose glory days continue to influence editors. Each of these magazines not only grabbed the zeitgeist but shaped it. If you’ve never heard of Ramparts or have only vague awareness of its significance, Peter Richardson’s compact history, “A Bomb in Every Issue,” will assure you of its place in the magazine pantheon. This San Francisco Bay Area magazine didn’t live long, starting in 1962 as a quarterly and expiring in 1975. Its very best pages appeared between 1966 and 1968: in that short span, it restored the lapsed institution of muckraking, put showmanship back into journalism, exposed Central Intelligence Agency excesses, helped turn Martin Luther King Jr. against the Vietnam War, gave radicalism a commercial megaphone and boosted the careers of such notable journalists as Warren Hinckle (who gave the magazine its heart), Robert Scheer (who gave it its brain), Adam Hochschild, David Horowitz, Peter Collier and Jann Wenner.
more from Jack Shafer at the NYT here.