Jack London: California Radical

Wednesday Nov 16 2016   6:30 PM
Mechanics' Institute Library & Chess Room  57 Post St, San Francisco, CA  map

This tribute to one of the Bay Area’s most iconic celebrity writers will be moderated by Heyday founder Malcolm Margolin and will include authors Jonah Raskin (The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution) and Gerald Haslam (Jack London’s Golden State: Selected California Writings), science writer Mary Ellen Hannibal (Citizen Scientist), California Director of the National Wildlife Federation Beth Pratt-Bergstrom (When Mountain Lions Are Neighbors), Heyday’s Steve Wasserman, and special guest librarian Tarnel Abbott, great-granddaughter of Jack London.

The panel will cover London’s fiery personality and the radical themes of his writing including his views on socialism, war and revolution, unions, incarceration, environmental issues, as well as his ideas about “man versus nature” that he is noted for. Furthermore, Jack London was a member of Mechanics’ Institute—so, all the more reason to take a good look at the lessons and movements he inspired and honor his literary legacy.

Mechanic’s Institute Members Free, Non-member tickets are $15 ; register on Eventbrite.

Steve WassermanSteve Wasserman, raised in Berkeley and a graduate of Cal, is Heyday’s publisher and executive director. He is a former editor-at-large for Yale University Press and editorial director of Times Books/Random House and publisher of Hill & Wang and The Noonday Press at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He has worked with many authors and published numerous books, including, most recently, Greil Marcus’s The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, Martha Hodes’s Mourning Lincoln, David Thomson’s Why Acting Matters, and two posthumous volumes of the late critic Ralph J. Gleason’s musical and political writings. A founder of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California, Wasserman was a principal architect of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books during the nine years he served as editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review (1996–2005). He began his career as an assistant editor to Warren Hinckle at Francis Ford Coppola’s City Magazine of San Francisco and went on to become deputy editor of the Sunday Opinion section and Op-Ed Page of the Los Angeles Times (1978–1983) before becoming editor in chief of New Republic Books, based in Washington, D.C., and New York. He was also a partner in Kneerim & Williams, a Boston-based literary agency, and represented, among others, Robert Scheer, Christopher Hitchens, David Thomson, Linda Ronstadt, and Placido Domingo. He has written for many publications, including The Village Voice, Threepenny Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Conservative, The Progressive, Columbia Journalism Review, Los Angeles Times, and the (London) Times Literary Supplement.
Beth Pratt-BergstromBeth Pratt-Bergstrom has worked in environmental leadership roles for over twenty-five years. As the California director for the National Wildlife Federation, she says, “I have the best job in the world—advocating for the state’s remarkable animals.” Her conservation work has been featured by The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, BBC World Service, CBS This Morning, the Los Angeles Times, and NPR, and she has written for CNN.com, Boom: A Journal of California, Yellowstone Discovery, Yosemite Journal, and Inspiring Generations: 150 Years, 150 Stories in Yosemite. She is the author of the novel The Idea of Forever and the official Junior Ranger Handbook for Yosemite. Beth lives outside of Yosemite with her husband, four dogs, two cats, and the wildlife that frequents her NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat backyard.
Malcolm MargolinMalcolm Margolin is the publisher emeritus of Heyday, an independent nonprofit publisher and unique cultural institution, which he founded in 1974. Margolin is author of several books, including The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco–Monterey Bay Area, named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the hundred most important books of the twentieth century by a western writer. He has received dozens of prestigious awards among which are the Chairman's Commendation from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fred Cody Award Lifetime Achievement from the San Francisco Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, the Helen Crocker Russell Award for Community Leadership from the San Francisco Foundation, the Carey McWilliams Award for Lifetime Achievement from the California Studies Association, an Oscar Lewis Award for Western History from the Book Club of California, a Hubert Bancroft Award from Friends of the Bancroft Library, a Cultural Freedom Award from the Lannan Foundation, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He helped found the Bay Nature Institute and the Alliance for California Traditional Artists.