Ransoming Pagan Babies at the Mechanics’ Institute: A Panel Discussion

Thursday Feb 15 2018   6:30 PM
Mechanics' Institute  57 Post St, San Francisco, CA  map

Heyday publisher/executive director Steve Wasserman moderates a panel with William R. Hearst III, publisher of The Journal of Alta California, journalist Robert Scheer, and others, on the legacy of legendary muckraker Warren Hinckle.

From his exposés in Ramparts magazine to his hand in inventing gonzo, Warren Hinckle upended twentieth-century investigative reporting and gave it new provocation and zest. Ransoming Pagan Babies contains an astonishing thematic sweep: portraits of old San Francisco and its characters; insightful reporting on conflicts in Selma, Northern Ireland, and Vietnam; forays into local politics; and piercing depictions of a Bay Area riven by inequality and assassination. Hinckle wrote about his subjects with bluster, tenacity, heart, and a desire for adventure and justice. This book is the first to capture his swashbuckling energy and expansive talent in a single volume.

General admission $15; FREE for friends of Heyday and the Mechanics’ Institute. For more information and to RSVP, visit the Mechanics’ Institute’s website.

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.