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Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 9/24/2009
Robert Scheer & Peter Richardson Discuss the Life of Ramparts Magazine
Date Thursday September 24
Time 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Location Details
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
510-848-3696
http://www.fccb.org
Event Type Speaker
Emailken [at] kpfa.org
Phone510-848-6767 x609
Recall the short (1962-1975) but utterly remarkable life of Ramparts magazine, which became the premier leftist publication of its era. Deeply committed to the civil rights and antiwar movements, Ramparts list of contributors include Noam Chomsky, Cesar Chaves, Seymour Hersh, Angela Davis, and Tariq Ali, among others. It was in its pages that Che Guevaras diaries and the prison diaries of Eldridge Cleaver first appeared, and it is where neo-con David Horowitz cut his teeth in journalism, before renouncing his left-wing political radicalism.

The list goes on: Ramparts published the first conspiracy theory about JFKs assassination; it was the first to reveal that the CIA had backed the National Student Association during the Cold War and its article about the use of napalm on Vietnamese children (another first) caused Martin Luther King Jr. to speak out against the war for the first time. Although Ramparts folded in 1975, it left an important legacy. Former staffers Jann Wenner and Adam Hochschild founded Rolling Stone and Mother Jones respectively. The magazines combination of high audacity and solid reporting deeply influenced a generation of progressive writers and remains an inspiration for investigative journalists.

Author Peter Richardson situates Ramparts within its Bay Area context and assesses its impact on the national stage, while bringing to life the way in which Ramparts entertained readers, mirrored the New Lefts fascination with the media, and exemplified new possibilities for American journalists. Richardson, chair of the California Studies Association, teaches at SFSU and is the author of American Prophet: The Life and Work of Carey McWilliams.

Robert Scheer is the editor of Truthdig.com and a contributing editor of The Nation. From 1964 to 1969, he was managing editor and editor-in-chief of Ramparts, after which he spent close to twenty years at the Los Angeles Times. His most recent book is The Pornography of Power.
Added to the calendar on Friday Sep 4th, 2009 8:40 PM
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