Thursday, June 11, 2009

My New Passion

In my never-ending quest for new and unremunerative activities, I filled in as guest host on "Politics with Norman Solomon" at KWMR last Wednesday and again yesterday. What can I say? I love public radio, and I was honored that Norman asked. My reward was two drives to Point Reyes Station, the pleasure of meeting the station's staff, and the chance to visit with Dan Weintraub about the California state budget.

Dan is a real pro, by the way; not only a shrewd observer of the state political scene, but also a lucid, interesting, and polished speaker on a broad range of topics. After he explained the budget debacle and discussed the recent special election, we spoke a bit about his book, Party of One: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of the Independent Voter.

As far as on-air mechanics, let's just say that I'm a work in progress. I'll get a little more practice later this month when I fill in for Jon Rowe on KWMR's "America Offline," which airs Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30. It looks like I'll have Sasha Abramsky, author of Breadline USA on June 23. I hope to have Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, on June 30. Marjorie is the author of two PoliPointPress books, Cowboy Republic and Rules of Disengagement.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

David Ulin on Frances Kroll Ring

I'm not going to lie to you; I'd love to keep the Ramparts blurbs front and center for as long as possible. But today a David Ulin piece on Frances Kroll Ring swam into my ken, and I can't resist.

Fanatical readers of this blog will recall my telephone conversation with Frances, her book (Against the Current), and the film based on her experience (Last Call), where she was played memorably by Neve Campbell.

What? You don't recall? Frances was F. Scott Fitzgerald's secretary and later edited Carey McWilliams for Westways. Good God, people, pull it together. Maybe these links will jog your memory.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

More Ramparts blurbs

More blurbs for A Bomb in Every Issue:

“It’s a great delight to see this key chapter in the history of American journalism at last get the readable, judicious history it deserves. Ramparts touched the lives of far more people than its readers by paving the way for the rich universe of alternative media now open to us. Peter Richardson has told an important story, and told it well.”

Adam Hochschild, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, and author of Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son and Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves

“America’s muckraking tradition stretches back to the 1690s—but no publication better represented it than Ramparts. In the 1960s, it helped set a generation on fire, tore away a veil of hypocrisy in public life, and set new standards in editorial and design quality. Richardson’s tale brings the dead to life, and gives us a new understanding of how journalism changes the way we are and will be.”

Richard Parker, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard University, and author of John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics

“Peter Richardson captures the extravagant idealism, brilliance, and shortcomings of the radical magazine Ramparts, whose hard-edged challenges to mainstream American politics and culture still resonate today. Entertaining and thought-provoking.”

Eve Pell, award-winning investigative reporter and author of We Used to Own the Bronx: Memoirs of a Former Debutante

“Peter Richardson does a fine job fairly recreating the brilliant and crazy atmosphere—the ingenuity and bravado, farce and tragedy—that resulted when the mad geniuses, talented radicals, hustlers, hucksters, and charlatans of Ramparts dived together into the Sixties’ white water cascade. It’s as if Norman Mailer, Thomas Pynchon, and Doris Lessing had decided to collaborate on a true life story.”

Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism and sociology, Columbia University, and author of The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage