John Lauritsen has been a freethinker and activist since his earliest years. In 1969 he joined the Gay Liberation Front and Edited Come Out! His first book, co-authored with David Thorstad, The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935) (TEHRM), was published by Times Change Press in 1974. This was a best seller by the standards of serious, non-fiction, small press books. It went through many printings and two editions. It was translated into Italian (two different editions), French, German, and Spanish — all with different publishers. TEHRM is one of the most referenced gay books since Stonewall.
In the 1980s, when AIDS deluged the world, John stepped up and took a stand. He had over fifty articles published in the New York Native.
He has written book chapters for dozens of books, all published by scholarly or other mainstream publishers. He has had hundreds of articles published in magazines, newspapers, and websites.
John now owns his own publishing company – Pagan Press. For his first two books — reprints of works by Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds — he brought these not-well-known authors to a modern stage and wrote introductions or forewords. After that he wrote works on a variety of topics. A Freethinker’s Primer of Male Love is “a celebration and defense of male love from a secular humanist perspective.” In The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein he explores the idea that it was not Mary Shelley who wrote this seminal novel, but rather her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Two Pagan Press books have been best sellers (by the standards of serious, non-fiction, small press books) and all of them, without exception, have made a profit. And this in the era of offset, where the first printing would cost several thousand dollars. In terms of production quality — typography, paper, etc. — Pagan Press is better than most mainstream publishers. Pagan Press books have received many reviews, usually favorable, although the Frankenstein book tended to elicit strong feelings on both sides of the fence.
John is a true maverick who isn’t afraid of standing up and speaking his mind.
Here’s more information on John and his books –