The founder of Utne Reader chronicles his adventures on the frontlines of American culture—from the Vietnam era to the age of Trump—as a spiritual seeker, antiwar activist, and minor media celebrity.

Far Out Man is the story of a life-long seeker who was occasionally a finder as well. In 1984, Eric Utne founded Utne Reader, a digest of new ideas and fresh perspectives percolating in the arts, culture, politics, business, and spirituality. With the tag line “The Best of the Alternative Press,” the magazine was twice a finalist for a National Magazine Award and grew to more than 300,000 paid circulation. In the nineties, the magazine promoted the Neighborhood Salon Association to revive the endangered art of conversation and start a revolution in people’s living rooms. More than 18,000 people joined, comprising nearly 500 salons across North America. Utne devoted the magazine to bringing people together to help make the world a “little greener and a little kinder.”

Far Out Man serves as a chronicle of both an individual life and a generation, covering the conflicts of the Vietnam era, the hopes and excesses of the sexual revolution and the Me Decade, the idealism and depredations of the entrepreneurial eighties and nineties, and the promise and perils of the digital age. Ultimately, Far Out Man is the story of Eric Utne’s lifelong search for hope, how he lost it, and what he found on the other side that sustains him in his darkest moments. It is a book dedicated to helping all seekers become finders.


Cover Photo: John Danicic Jr., courtesy of Utne Family Archives
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