In the late 1960s Tim Shadbolt was a young Auckland University politician who became an activist in protests, especially against the Vietnam War. He wrote a book Bullshit and jellybeans and Alister Taylor, who was working at A. H. & A. W. Reed, submitted it to the publishers. Reeds turned the book down, and this inspired Taylor, himself a former radical student politician, to begin publishing books that reflected the counter-culture. In addition to Bullshit and jellybeans, Taylor published, among other works, poetry by Sam Hunt and Alistair Campbell, the New Zealand edition of The little red schoolbook, the New Zealand whole earth catalogue, and Robin Morrison's The South Island from the road. But the publisher suffered financial and legal difficulties and its last publications were very different in style: prestige and vanity works.
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