Summer on Fire by Peter Werbe
Summer on Fire: A Detroit Novel
by Peter Werbe
The temperature is scorching in Detroit during the summer of 1967 and so is everything happening in this fictionalized memoir by a staff member of the Fifth Estate, the long-running, Detroit-based anarchist magazine. Werbe’s characters are thrust into tumultuous episodes of 1967 Detroit Rebellion, anti-war demonstrations, fighting fascists, rock and roll, drugs, anarchism, the White Panther Party, Wilhelm Reich, and a bomb plot that provide “a people’s history and radical folklore of Detroit.” The setting is seven weeks in a critical year that demands ethical choices by all involved, ones which mirror today’s crises.
Pre-order Available March 1, 2021
“Peter Werbe brings a journalist’s keen eye and a revolutionary’s spirit to this novel about war, retribution, and revolution. He never lets us forget that freedom is forged through friendship and solidarity. Informative and entertaining, Summer on Fire burns bright.
—Cara Hoffman, award-winning author of Running and So Much Pretty
“A refreshing read about Detroit in the 1960s. The story is good and the telling is superb.”
–John Sinclair, author, poet, MC5 manager
“Summer on Fire’s story of a short time in the lives of a few friends intersperses real events and places with more than a little fabrication in the best tradition of yarn-spinning, capturing the essence of the whirlwind 1960’s.”
—Marius Mason, anarchist, environmental and animal rights activist, serving 22 years in federal prison for defense of the planet
“Despite the surreal and gonzo events at its center, Peter Werbe’s novel is down to earth and close to the street. It’s appealing vignettes intertwine a people’s history and radical folklore of Detroit, including hilariously over-the-top encounters. A radical political novel that makes you laugh? Now, that’s revolutionary.”
—Michael Jackman, former senior editor, Detroit Metro Times
“Like two current Oscar-nominated movies, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Judas and the Black Messiah,” the book plunges you back into an era of rebellion that did, to a certain extent, change the world. But at its heart, Werbe’s novel is a time-travel trip that evokes what it was like to be part of the Fifth Estate underground newspaper, the iconic Detroit publication launched in 1965 that had an impact far beyond its counterculture reach.” — Julie Hinds, from the Detroit Free Press review: Detroit’s ’60s counterculture comes alive in novel by longtime activist Peter Werbe
Read an excerpt from the book at Novelist Peter Werbe Trips Back To A Pivotal ‘Summer On Fire’ at DEADLINE DETROIT.
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Peter Werbe is a member of the Fifth Estate magazine’s editorial collective. His professional career included hosting WRIF’S “Nightcall,” the longest-running talk show in radio history, as well as a DJ on Detroit rock stations, WCSX, WWWW, and WABX. He lives in the Detroit area.