About Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor to The Nation magazine and teaches 20th century US history at the University of California – Irvine.  He sued the FBI for their files on John Lennon — the story is told in his book Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files and at the website www.LennonFBIfiles.com. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court before most of the outstanding issues were settled in 1997.

His new book How We Forgot the  Cold War: A Historical Journey across Amerca was published by the University of California Press in October, 2012.   And O/R Books published I Told You So: Gore Vidal Talks Politics–Interviews with Jon Wiener  in November, 2012.  That book includes four interviews, three never before published, for a variety of audiences, ranging from 2,000 people at a book festival in Los Angeles to 50 writers, academics and artists at the Los Angeles Institute of the Humanities.

Wiener’s other books include Historians in Trouble and Professors, Politics and Pop.  “Wiener takes the modern university as his beat, and covers it like a police reporter,” reviewer John Leonard wrote. “Wiener’s mean streets are the think tank, the scholarly symposium, and the faculty lounge.”

Wiener’s articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Los Angeles Times as well as The Nation.  His article “Murdered Ink: Media Conglomerates are Censoring Authors” in The Nation was named “The Year’s Best Writing about Writing” by Writers’ Yearbook.

Wiener has hosted an afternoon drive-time interview show on KPFK since 1999.  His guests have included  Gail Collins, Skip Gates, Tom Frank, Sarah Vowell, Gary Shteyngart, Janny Scott, Eric Foner, Barbara Ehrenreich, Al Franken, Rick Perlstein, Chris Hayes and Terry Gross, as well as the late Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn and Edward Said.

Wiener has participated as a speaker in more than 100 conferences, including conferences on censorship and the arts at the Columbia University School of Journalism, and on “Capitalism and its Culture” at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He’s been a regular at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, where he has appeared on panels with Maureen Dowd, John Dean, and Sarah Vowell, and he’s also appeared in the L.A. Public Library ALOUD series, in conversation with Paul Krugman, Jane Mayer, Adam Hochschild, and Gore Vidal.