About Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener started out in the sixties writing for The Old Mole, an underground weekly in Cambridge, Mass. He sued the FBI for their files on John Lennon – dating from the time when Nixon had ordered Lennon deported from the US to silence him as a critic of the Vietnam War. After 17 years of litigation, including a Supreme Court appeal (Wiener v FBI, cert denied), the government settled and released almost all of pages that had been withheld on the grounds that they contained “National Security” information. That story is told in his book Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files.

He’s taught American history at UC Irvine–especially the course “Politics from FDR to Obama,” and he’s a long-time contributing editor at The Nation, where he hosts the magazine’s weekly podcast “Start Making Sense.” His guests there have included Naomi Klein, Gail Collins, Chris Hayes, Paul Krugman, Rebecca Solnit, and Barbara Ehrenreich.

His recent books include How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America — the New York Times Book Review called it “A political argument masquerading as a travel yarn…. Convincing.” He’s also the author of Conspiracy in the Streets: the Extraordinary Trial of the Chicago Eight, which includes illustrations by Jules Feiffer and a cover photo by Richard Avedon.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the video artist and photographer Judy Fiskin.