From his galvanizing exposés in Ramparts magazine to his hand in inventing gonzo, Warren Hinckle upended twentieth-century investigative reporting and gave it new provocation and zest. In the first career-spanning collection of writings by this key figure of American journalism, Ransoming Pagan Babies contains an astonishing thematic sweep: Joseph Mitchell–esque portraits of old San Francisco and its characters; insightful reporting on conflicts in Selma, Northern Ireland, and Vietnam; forays into local politics; and piercing depictions of a Bay Area riven by inequality and assassination. Reading Hinckle drops the reader into the heart of history—and, just as importantly, it's fun. Hinckle wrote about his subjects with bluster, tenacity, heart, and a desire for adventure and justice. This book is the first to capture his swashbuckling energy and expansive talent in a single volume.