S.C.U.M. Manifesto. Valerie SOLANAS.
S.C.U.M. Manifesto.


S.C.U.M. Manifesto.

NY: The Olympia Press, Inc., August 1968. First trade edition (preceded by the author's self-published 21pp. mimeographed edition, c. October 1967). Preface by the publisher, Maurice Girodias (20pp.), with a commentary by Paul Krassner, "Wonder Waif Meets Super Neuter" (21pp.). 16mo. Wrps., 105pp. + ads. Cover photograph of the author by Fred McDarrah (the same image had previously appeared on the front cover of The Village Voice, June 7, 1968).

The S.C.U.M. Manifesto (an acronym for the Society for Cutting Up Men) was written between 1965 and 1967, but little known until Solanas's attempted assassination of Andy Warhol on June 3, 1968. Then, as now, it divided feminist opinion: the radical feminist Ti-Grace Atkinson described it as having initiated a "revolutionary movement", and its author as "the first outstanding champion of women's rights", a view dismissed by Betty Friedan and other less extremist activists.

Its opening paragraph was an incendiary call to action, declaring: "Life in this society, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex." Men, Solanas argued, are simply the "incomplete female" and have turned the world into "a shitpile".

Maurice Girodias, who was Solanas's intended victim on the day she shot Andy Warhol (he was in Montreal at the time), rushed publication of the manifesto in an attempt to capitalise on the shooting (the book's back cover reproduces the front page of the New York Post with its sensationalist headline, "Andy Warhol Fights For Life").

A second Olympia Press edition followed in 1970, with a new foreword by Village Voice journalist and essayist, Vivian Gornick. In 1977 Solanas famously checked out a copy of the 1971 British edition from the New York Public Library and defaced it in her defiant attempt to reclaim authorship and control over the text she claimed Girodias had mishandled.

Pages slightly age-toned; two small patches of surface loss, at tail of spine panel and lower left front cover; edges slightly rubbed, with faint top right corner crease to front cover. Overall, Very Good.