Peter Richardson, Robert Scheer, and Susan Griffith discuss the short (1962-1975) but utterly remarkable life of Ramparts magazine, which, originally founded as a Catholic literary quarterly, quickly became the premier leftist publication of its era. Deeply committed to the civil rights and antiwar movements, Ramparts' list of contributors -- Noam Chomsky, Cesar Chavez, Seymour Hersh, Angela Davis, and Tariq Ali, among others -- forms a veritable who's who of politics and journalism.
It was in its pages that Che Guevara's diaries and the prison diaries of Eldridge Cleaver first appeared, and it is where neo-con David Horowitz cut his teeth in journalism, before renouncing his left-wing political radicalism.
Susan Griffin is a poet, essayist, playwright and screenwriter. She was born in Los Angeles California in 1943, in the midst of the Second World War and the holocaust, and these events had a lasting effect on her thinking.
Named by Utne reader as one of a hundred important visionaries for the new millennium, she has been the recipient of an NEA grant, and a one year Macarthur Grant for Peace and International Cooperation. Her work, translated into 17 languages, is taught in colleges and universities internationally.
She has published several volumes of poetry. Unremembered Country won the Commonwealth Club's Silver Medal for poetry in 1987.
Peter Richardson is an editor at the University of California Press, a lecturer in the humanities department at San Francisco State University, and a frequent book reviewer for Truthdig. His publications include A Bomb in Every Issue (2009), a history of Ramparts magazine; and American Prophet (2005), a biography of author and editor Carey McWilliams. He is currently finishing a cultural history of the Grateful Dead for St. Martin's Press. A former associate professor of English at the University of North Texas, he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991.
Robert Scheer, a journalist with more than 30 years' experience, has built his reputation on the strength of his social and political writing. His columns appear in newspapers across the country, and his in-depth interviews have made headlines.
As Scheer creates his weekly national and local columns, he draws upon a wealth of experience and knowledge. Between 1964 and 1969, he was Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine.
From 1976 to 1993, he served as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, where he wrote articles on such diverse topics as the Soviet Union, arms control, national politics and the military.
Scheer has taught courses at Antioch College in San Francisco, New York City College, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC Berkeley. He is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, where he teaches a course on media and society.
Scheer also directs the Privacy Project at the Annenberg School. On Tuesday afternoons, Scheer can be heard on the political radio program "Left, Right and Center" on KCRW, the National Public Radio affiliate in Santa Monica.
An accomplished author, Scheer has written six books including Thinking Tuna Fish, Talking Death: Essays on the Pornography of Power, With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War and America After Nixon: The Age of Multinationals.
Over the years, Scheer has been honored for his work, including his coverage of the underprivileged and the welfare system. Recently, he was the 1998 honoree of the Shelter Partnership, an organization of Los Angeles downtown businesses, and the USC School of Social Work's Los Amigos award recipient.
He has also received awards and citations from Stanford University, the Moscow Academy of Sciences, UC San Diego and Yale University.
Scheer was raised in the Bronx, where he attended public schools and graduated from City College of New York. He studied as a Maxwell Fellow at Syracuse University and was a fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies at UC Berkeley where he did graduate work in economics.
Scheer has also been a Poynter fellow at Yale, and was a fellow in arms control at Stanford.