Drew Faust on Growing Up in the Sixties – THE NATION

Drew Faust was the first woman president of Harvard, from 2007 to 2018. Before that, she was the founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and before that, she was the Annenberg professor of history at Penn. Now, she’s a member of the history department at Harvard. She’s the author of six books, including This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. Her new book is Necessary Trouble: Growing up at Mid-Century. This interview has been condensed and edited.

JON WIENER:​  I’ve read a lot of memoirs written by sixties people and virtually all trace the origins of their activism to the same moment: the sit-in movement in the spring of 1960.  But your epiphany, as you call it, the shock of recognition that spurred you to take your first political act, came well before 1960​…

… continued at The Nation, HERE  5-30-2023

Sowing the Future – LARB Quarterly

“Sowing the Future” (co-authored by Mike Davis), LARB Quarterly 37 (Spring 2023), pp. 37-44.  Excerpt from “Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties,” with a new introduction.

… continued in LARB Quarterly, HERE  6-10-2023

Are the Risk Managers Running Planned Parenthood? – The Nation

Eyal Press on courage and caution among abortion providers.

JON WIENER: When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a lot of our friends immediately sent a check to Planned Parenthood—because Planned Parenthood is known to all as the organization that provides abortion services and defends abortion rights. But it turns out some of the affiliates are less willing to provide abortion services than others. And in many places, independent abortion clinics do a lot of the work, and face a lot of the threats from violent anti-abortion activists: for example, in Montana.  

… continued at The Nation, HERE  5-30-2023


“A moment in rock-and-roll dreamtime: Saturday night on Sunset Strip in early December 1967.”

That beginning of an academic article was the first thing anybody saw about Mike Davis’s new project, a movement history of L.A. in the sixties. “Riot Nights on Sunset Strip” recounted how thousands of young people fought the police, ostensibly over a curfew.

… continued at Los Angeles Review of Books, HERE   11-11-2022


“City of Quartz,” Mike Davis’ masterpiece, was remarkable in many ways, not the least of which was the author photo, which became the focus of the Nation magazine’s review. There, Marshall Berman wrote that Mike looked like “an aging, ravaged light-heavyweight” who “doesn’t want company.” Berman confessed he was so turned off by the photo that the book “lay on my night table for weeks” before he started reading it. So began Davis’ ambivalent career in the intellectual trenches, declaring his independence by defying the convention of the warm, inviting author photo.

… continued at, HERE   10-26-2022


A brilliant radical reporter with a novelist’s eye and a historian’s memory.

Mike Davis, author and activist, radical hero and family man, died October 25 after a long struggle with esophageal cancer; he was 76. He’s best known for his 1990 book about Los Angeles, City of Quartz. Marshall Berman, reviewing it for The Nation, said it combined “the radical citizen who wants to grasp the totality of his city’s life, and the urban guerrilla aching to see the whole damned thing blow.”

… continued at, HERE   10-26-2022

Ivanka in Jared’s book: TLS letter

“Michael Wolff’s wonderful review of Jared Kushner’s memoir says “everyone hated Jared” (September 9). But what about Ivanka?”
Letter to the TLS, Times Literary Supplement, Oct. 7, 2022,

Ken Burns Gets at the Nasty Underbelly of American History – THENATION.COM

David Nasaw in conversation with Jon Wiener on the new PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust.

Jon Wiener:  Before I saw the new Ken Burns documentary, I thought, “We already know this history. We’ve been reading about it our whole lives.” Ken Burns knows that. He’s got one of his historian experts, Daniel Mendelsohn, saying, “You think you’ve heard it all, but trust me: you haven’t.” I ended up agreeing with him completely. I found the show riveting. What did you think?

David Nasaw:  I agree totally. I began watching it almost as a duty. I didn’t think I was going to learn anything, or be nearly as moved as I was. It is an extraordinary accomplishment. It comes at the right time. I hope it gets the widest possible viewing, that it makes its way into high schools and colleges. It’s remarkable, especially because it gets at the nasty underbelly of American history.

… continued at, HERE   9-29-2022


Russia’s War in Ukraine: How It Could End – A conversation with Anatol Lieven –

Jon Wiener: You wrote in November that we already had the outlines of a settlement in Ukraine. What was that proposal? Is any of it still relevant after 40 days of war?

Anatol Lieven: Minsk II was an agreement between Ukraine and Russia brokered by France and Germany, whereby the two separatist parts of the Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, which had rebelled against Ukraine with Russian support, would go back into Ukraine, but on the basis of full local autonomy.

… continued at, HERE   4-11-2022

“Street Cop” and Cartoon Controversies: A Conversation with Art Spiegelman: LA Review of Books

“I wrote back to them saying, ‘Okay, I’ll look at the manuscript and as long as it has no mice or Jews in it, I’ll be glad to consider it.’ I really admire Coover; I’ve liked his work for a very long time. And lo and behold: no Jews, no mice. Best of all, it was a dystopia, but it wasn’t the one I was living in. It was a dystopia next door. It allowed me to approach and inhabit it.”–Art Spiegelman on “Street Cop,” Q&A at the LA Review of Books, HERE  9-7-2021