B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1990
Ron Jacobs is a former military brat, hitchhiker, antiwar activist, and a library worker who lives in Asheville, N.C. He is the author of The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground which is published by Verso. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up is published by Mainstay Press. His articles, essays and reviews appear in Counterpunch, Monthly Review, Monthly Review Zine, Alternative Press Review, Berlin Jungle World, Works in Progress, State of Nature, and a multitude of other places. His second novel, The Co-Conspirator's Tale is now available from Fomite Press.
Fiction, Non-Fiction, Journalism
Latest Publication Title(s)
The Co-Conspirator's Tale, Fomite Press, 2011
From "When the Music Could Only Do So Much," an essay in Counterpunch:
The last days of April 1970 seemed relatively uneventful. The first Earth Day occurred on April 22nd that year. For the most part it bore little resemblance to the green corporation festival many of today's Earth Days seem to be. At the same time it was not a radical showdown with police like that which occurred all too often. The most recent such episode had taken place in many US cities following the conviction of the Chicago 7 defendants in February. Apollo 13's failed mission was already over a week old and creating its own share of commentary in the nation's media.
I was living overseas in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where I had moved with my family in March. The Beatles song "Let It Be" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" were near the top of the record charts. I was mostly listening to The Band's second album, the Dylan bootleg The Great White Wonder, the Stones' Let It Bleed, the Dead and the Beatles. I remember watching Johnny Winter play a short set on the German television show Beat Club.
Major League baseball was just warming up. Being overseas, the best I could do was follow the box scores in the morning Stars and Stripes newspaper. The Stars and Stripes also gave us the news on the Vietnam War which, according to them and Richard Nixon, was moving along just fine. Indeed, there might even be an end in sight. Letters from friends in the States talked about the Grateful Dead new tour with the New Riders of the Purple Sage in a show that featured Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel with the New Riders and three sets of the Dead, one of them acoustic. Over a hundred thousand members of the US radical movement were gathering the last weekend of April in New Haven to protest the trial of Black Panthers Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins on charges they were eventually acquitted of. Even that protest was characterized as mostly peaceful.
Then April ended. Not with a whimper but a bang. The night of April 30, 1970, Richard Nixon told the world that US forces were invading Cambodia ostensibly to destroy the warmaking capabilities of the NLF and northern Vietnamese military. The speech was not even over before students and others across the US were in the streets. The protesters in New Haven issued a call for a nationwide student strike. A torrent of protest raged across the nation. So much for the halcyon days of April. In Frankfurt, thousands of protesters marched on the US Army offices known as the IG Farben Building. Besides the German protesters, there were GIs refusing to work and US military dependents walking out of their schools. Black armbands expressing solidarity with the protesters and against the war could be seen on many a young person on base—GIs and dependents alike. The authorities were naturally wary. May was to be the cruelest month this calendar year.
The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground
Short Order Frame Up
"When the Music Could Only Do So Much" essay from Counterpunch
"Singers in a Dangerous Time: Haggard and Dylan Take the Stage" essay from Counterpunch
How did Evergreen help you in your career?
Evergreen gave me the freedom to write and criticism from peers/faculty to help improve my writing.