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The Psychic Soviet


A reissue of Ian F. Svenonius’s cult-classic debut essay collection, including brand-new writing in this expanded edition.

*While supplies last, books ordered through the website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Ian F. Svenonius!

$18.95 $14.21

What people are saying…

“Everything author-slash-punk-icon Ian Svenonius says is interesting, and this book of satirical essays—originally published in 2006, now back in print—proves it . . . You’ll laugh until you cry.”
Washington Post

“Ian F. Svenonius’s The Psychic Soviet was first published before the iPhone, before the cronut, and long before our culture thought to ask the Svenonius-like question of whether it was the CIA who actually wrote the Scorpions’ ‘Wind of Change.’ Akashic Books just reissued . . . this short, offbeat, and very funny collection of essays.”

“As entertaining as books come.”
Exclusive Magazine

“In a sense the book is Mr. Svenonius’s love letter to the good old days of do-it-yourself punk concerts, though it’s cleverly disguised as a series of Marxian essays.”
New York Times

“The pocket-sized book—given Svenonius’s communism infatuation, the parallel to Mao’s Little Red Book is no mistake—contains well-thought-out arguments on a variety of subjects, from vampires to the origins of punk rock. It’s often funny, but never in a self-consciously ironic way.”
Washington Post

“Ian Svenonius has come a long way since Sassy Magazine first dubbed him the ‘Sassiest Boy in America’ in 1991. The DC singer has never been anything less than political to the extreme.”
Village Voice


A new, expanded collection of essays and articles from one of the mainstays of the Washington, DC, underground rock and roll scene, The Psychic Soviet is Ian F. Svenonius’s groundbreaking first book of writings. The selections are written in a lettered yet engaging style, filled with parody and biting humor that subvert capitalist culture, and cover such topics as the ascent of the DJ as a star, the “cosmic depression” that followed the defeat of the USSR, how Seinfeld caused the bankruptcy of modern pop culture, and the status of rock and roll as a religion. The pocket-sized book is bound with a durable bright-pink plastic cover, recalling the aesthetics of Mao’s Little Red Book, and perfect for carrying into the fray of street battle, classroom, or lunch-counter argument.

Table of Contents

 The Psychic Soviet
 Vampirism & Vampirology
 The Bloody Latte
 Beatles vs. Stones
 Rock ’N’ Rolligion
 The Responsible Use of Rock ’N’ Roll
 Eat the Rocument
 Time As Money
Seinfeld Syndrome
  Rock ’N’ Roll As Real Estate
A Warning to Swedish Girls
Mordor Dearest
Camp Exploitation
The Stilyagi
The Seduction of Paolo Hewitt
The Mix Master Race
You Can’t Always Get No Satisfaction
Personal Inscription
Afterword (to the second edition)
Epilogue: The Psychick Psketchbook

Book Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Published: 7/7/20
  • IBSN: 9781617757662
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757846


IAN F. SVENONIUS is the author of the underground best sellers Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group,The Psychic Soviet, and Censorship Now!! He was also the host of VBS.tv’s Soft Focus, where he interviewed Mark E. Smith, Genesis P. Orridge, Chan Marshall, Ian MacKaye, and others. As a musician he has created more than twenty albums and countless singles in various rock and roll combos (Escape-ism, Chain & the Gang, The Make-Up, The Nation of Ulysses, etc.). He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Against the Written Word is his latest work.

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