Dil Pickle Press Presents a new edition of Might is Right
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About Dil Pickle Press


We strive to offer our customers books of all kinds on a wide variety of interesting topics. We are a big enough book company that we can offer interesting titles at reasonable prices yet we are small enough that we are able to offer our customers the personal assistance that they deserve and come to expect – and that big book companies only wish they could offer! If you have any questions please contact us, a helpful courteous member of our staff would be happy to assist you! If you are looking for a particular book and don’t see it here, we will do our best to obtain it for you.

 

About the name

 

In 1917 several friends decided to “. . . provide an unconventional meeting-place for the uninhibited and free-thinking, including Socialists, atheists, anarchists and liberated women, lecturers and soapbox orators, artists, actors, playwrights, literary hopefuls, and a range of Bohemian types. . . .” And so was born the world-famous Dil Pickle Club: “One of Chicago’s best-known Bohemian locales, the club became a free-speech forum, frequented by labor movement radicals, drifters, rebellious academics, literary figures, prostitutes, actors, tourists and left-wing artisans of all sorts. To find the place, both the famous and infamous were exhorted to squeeze ‘Thru the Hole in the Wall Down Tooker Alley to the Green Lite Over the Orange Door.’ 22 Tooker Place was located just south of the Newberry Library on Dearborn Street, and a sign outside read ‘step high stoop low leave your dignity outside’ . . . The atmosphere of the club was an enjoyable mix of the radical, the rough, the erudite, the creative and sometimes the inane. And there was always plenty of stimulating talk.” * The famous and not-so-famous found their way down Tooker Alley to the Green Lite Over the Orange Door. They included labor leader Eugene Debs, poet Carl Sandburg, novelist Ben Hecht, lawyer Clarence Darrow, playwright Charles MacArthur, Wobbly Ralph Chaplin, radical socialist Ben Reitman, and a steady flow of University of Chicago professors: “The atmosphere of the club was an enjoyable mix of the radical, the rough, the erudite, the creative and sometimes the inane. And there was always plenty of stimulating talk.” *


Essentially the “Pickle” was the creation of Jack Jones, who remained the flamboyant, controversial owner of the club until its demise. It was in the late 1920s when Jones, who as usual was trying to find ways to raise money, decided to take his free speech forum into print. The result was the Dil Pickle Press, which was located inside the clubhouse in Tooker Alley. The Dil Pickle Press’s first and only major release was Ragnar Redbeard’s infamous Might Is Right, which was printed in 1927 in yellow paperback. The Dil Pickle Press and the Dil Pickle Club finally folded in the early 1930s — a victim of political corruption and the Great Depression.


In the spirit of the original Dil Pickle Club and Dil Pickle Press, the new Dil Pickle Press was born. The goal of the press (to paraphrase the above overview) is to provide an unconventional forum for uninhibited and free-thinking speech. No matter what the subject, we believe it is the right of every man and woman to decide for themselves what is right or wrong!


(*From a brief overview of the Dill Pickle Club holdings of the Newberry Library, Inventory of the Dill Pickle Club Records, 1906-1940; The Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections, Midwest Manuscript Collection, Chicago, Illinois, 2001.)

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