John Lauritsen

John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen

I’m a writer and retired survey research analyst. In my time I’ve been an antiwar activist, a gay liberationist, an AIDS dissident, a publisher, and an all-around freethinker. I’ve spoken out when people with common sense kept their mouth shut. I’ve exposed fraud, punctured group fantasies, and blasphemed against the prevailing superstitions. For doing so I’ve taken some hard knocks — but I’ve also made good friends and a name for myself.

The two most recent books, published in 2011, are Oresteia: The Medwin-Shelley Translation and a double-decker: Prometheus Bound, The Medwin-Shelley Translation plus Prometheus Unbound, by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein was published in 2007 — it was very favorably reviewed: by Camille Paglia in her column of 14 March 2007.

Pagan Press

The first Pagan Press book was a reprint of Edward Carpenter’s legendary anthology of romantic friendship, Ioläus, a work that had been out of print for over half a century.

This was followed in 1983 by a collection of writings by John Addington Symonds, a pioneer spokesman for homosexual emancipation. It was entitled Male Love: A Problem in Greek Ethics and Other Writings, and was a Centennial Edition — 100 years after Symonds published A Problem in Greek Ethics in an edition of only 10 copies. Male Love and Ioläus were both chosen by Richard Hall, literary editor of The Advocate, as among the ten best gay books of the years they were published.

In 1986 Pagan Press published Death Rush: Poppers and AIDS by John Lauritsen and Hank Wilson. This little book (64 pages) warned gay men of the dangers of the nitrite inhalants (or “poppers”).

All of these first three books have been out of print for many years.

The seven books that are currently available are described in this Booklist. These books can be ordered directly from Pagan Press using PayPal (see Booklist) — or, they can be purchased from Calamus books in Boston (617 338-1931) or from

Although Pagan Press is a very small press, it has an excellent record. All of its books have been extensively and favorably reviewed. All of them have at least broken even from sales, and two titles — Poison By Prescription and The AIDS War — were best sellers, by the standards of serious, non-fiction, small press books.

The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935)

My first book, co-authored with David Thorstad, was The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935) (Times Change Press 1974). It was in print for at least three decades, and was also a best seller for a serious, small press book.

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