Rag Radio: Historian & Publisher Paul Buhle, Editor of ‘Radical Jesus: A Graphic History of Faith’

'Radical Jesus' relates the radical social message of Jesus Christ in comic art format.

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Thorne Dreyer’s guest in this lively discussion is Paul Buhle, whose Radical Jesus: A Graphic History of Faith, relates the radical social message of Jesus Christ in comic art format.


For our holiday special, Rag Radio is rebroadcasting Thorne Dreyer’s interview with noted historian Paul Buhle, which originally aired Dec. 20, 2013. Radical Jesus, published in October 2013, is still available at Amazon.com.


Radical Jesus: A Graphic History of Faith tells the story of the “committed minority who carried on Jesus’ work through the centuries… Radical Jesus interprets why this history is important in dealing with modern society’s overwhelming problems in global conflict, economics, politics, and the environment.”

Paul Buhle has been a leading figure on the American Left since the 1960s. A noted historian, educator, writer, editor, and publisher, Buhle is a retired Senior Lecturer at Brown University. Alan Wieder, writing at The Rag Blog, called Paul Buhle “one of the most prolific and insightful critics from the American left.” Buhle is also a contributor to The Rag Blog, and his articles can be found here.

He is the author or editor of more than 35 volumes including histories of radicalism in the United States and the Caribbean, studies of popular culture, and a series of nonfiction comic art volumes including A People’s History of American Empire (with Howard Zinn); Jews and American Popular Culture (three volumes); and books on Robin Hood, Che Guevara, Emma Goldman, the Wobblies, and SDS. He is the authorized biographer of C.L.R. James.

Buhle was active in the civil rights movement and worked with SDS in the Sixties. He was founding editor of the influential journal, Radical America (1967-1999). (His Radical America Komiks produced in collaboration with underground comix pioneer Gilbert Shelton of Austin, helped introduce the radical new medium to the American Left.) Buhle was also founder of Cultural Correspondence (1977-83), a journal of popular culture studies; and founder and director of the Oral History of the American Left archive at New York University. He has contributed frequently to leading publications including The Nation, The Village Voice, Monthly Review, Jewish Currents, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

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 VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]

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