Rag Radio: Jonah Raskin on Dalton Trumbo, Jack London, and the California Drought

California-based journalist, activist, educator, poet, cultural critic, and biographer reports on "California dreams, California nightmares."

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Our guest is Jonah Raskin, a California-based journalist, activist, educator, poet, cultural critic, and the author of a dozen books, including biographies of Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, and Jack London. He is also a national correspondent for The Rag Blog.

The theme of the show could be “California dreams, California nightmares.” Jonah talks in depth about Dalton Trumbo (subject of an acclaimed motion picture), the Hollywood Ten, and the blacklist of the ’40s and ’50s. Other topics include novelist Jack London — the 100th anniversary of his death is in 2016; the California drought and the social and political issues surrounding farming and agriculture in California; and an update on marijuana legalization news and politics.

An activist since the ’60s, Raskin was Minister of Information for the Youth International Party (the Yippies) in the early ’70s and traveled with Abbie Hoffman when he was underground. Jonah writes regularly for The Rag Blog and this is his fourth time to be our guest on Rag Radio. In February, he joined us to discuss his book, A Terrible Beauty: The Wilderness of American Literature. Jonah is Professor Emeritus at Sonoma State University, where he chaired the Communication Studies Department.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at Veterans Today. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]

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