Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Next Phase & The Vermont Way

Alternative means having a choice. In the media, it’s often the choice to look for answers outside traditional institutions and systems. As many of us know, it doesn’t get any easier in an era of wall-to-wall news distractions, corporate concentration, mounting calamity and perpetual spin. But we do want we can.

What I am doing is continue as a maverick, writing, publishing and working with friends and allies on issues that matter. Response to my work over the past few years has been exciting, even the occasional criticisms. Maverick Media was launched in March 2008 after I returned from Berkeley and Pacifica Radio. Since then articles have appeared on dozens of websites, often spawning healthy dialogue, and in print publications around the world. I’ve appeared regularly on the radio and dug into issues like immigration hysteria, Obama myths and realities, cyber war, Al Jazeera and Lockheed Martin in Burlington, the prospects for progressive politics, Pacifica Radio, and, of course, perception management.

Since returning to Vermont last summer I’ve been focusing mainly on state and local politics, military and environmental issues, and lessons of the past. Next year, The Vermont Way, a popular history of Vermont I have been developing for many years, will be released. Between now and then I’ll distribute a series of short thematic essays to newspapers and websites on some of the turning points in state history – from its birth as an Independent Republic to legalizing same sex marriage – as well as some of the people who have played pivotal roles.

I have also noticed that some of my earlier books were becoming basically unavailable or hard to find, and so I’ve been working with Amazon and other publishers to make them more available, in print and digital form. One result is that Maverick Media is also becoming an online storefront for previous and new title sales, along with other collectible media, in association with Amazon. That makes it easy to order Vermont’s Untold History, a collectible 1976 people’s history published by Public Occurrence and The Frayed Page Collective, as well as Uneasy Empire, released by Toward Freedom in 2002, and my novel Spirits of Desire.

In April we’ll add The People’s Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution, which was first published in 1989. All copies ordered via Maverick Media are new and signed.

The Vermont Way will be published in 2012. It is intended to be an engaging, provocative and accessible study of Vermont’s political, economic and cultural evolution and influence. It tells the state’s unique story from the time before European settlers to the present day, with the emphasis on movements and memorable people. In some cases it re-interprets well-known events and trends; at other points it presents fresh information based on original scholarship, interviews and observations. It is a popular history and an exploration of the qualities, contradictions and traditions that have shaped Vermont’s path.

Readers and reviewers are currently being asked for feedback and reviews prior to publication. If you know organizations, bookstores or other venues where a talk about Vermont would be welcome, let me know.

Meanwhile, Vermont’s progressive movement had a birthday on March 3, just a day before I turned 64. Here’s a short essay, as it appeared on the state party’s website:

Vermont’s Progressive Era Turns 30
In April a series of excerpts from The Vermont Way begins with The Path to Marriage Equality. Then...

May: Voting equality (one man-one vote) and the Hoff Effect
June: When the first Mormon ran for president
July: How Vermont went Republican
August: A progressive censors Red Emma
September: Vermonters go to the White House
October: From boom to bust in company towns
November: Burlington's public power story
December: The parkway that never was

The Maverick Storefront
Please let friends know how they can order these books. Just click on the title:

Spirits of Desire

A romantic mystery of the paranormal, set in Vermont during the spiritualist craze of the 1870s, that explores the hidden powers of nature and the human mind.

Like E. L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime, Spirits of Desire is a story that plays out against a tapestry of social, intellectual, religious, political and scientific forces.... Because this is a novel -- and a good one- - I don't want to give away too much. Suffice it to say that Mr. Guma has done a fine job of bringing these characters and their fascinating epoch to life. -- Joseph Citro, Vermont Public Radio

Vermont’s Untold History

A groundbreaking radical history, including Labor and Capital in the Green Mountains by Robert Mueller and Greg Guma; Beyond Midwifery and Motherhood by Jo Schneiderman; and Labor in Barre by Roby Colodny. Illustrated with an index. The 1976 edition released by Public Occurrence and The Frayed Page.

Reign of Error

Illustrator Dan Florentino explores the hot issues – everything from drugs, crime, privacy, fundamentalism and climate change to media madness and the global power plays that drive us crazy. Featuring more than 100 illustrations and the insights of 47 authors. A graphic guide for anyone who cares about the state and fate of the earth. And it’s easy on the eyes.

Uneasy Empire

A manifesto that exposes the hidden agendas behind desperate domestic and international policies, and their devastating impacts on much of he world. Published by Toward Freedom in November 2002, it explains how an international establishment has used fear of socialism, communism and, more recently, terrorism to justify repression and a massive military establishment. It also examines the goals and strategies of the de facto world government that currently dominates countless economies. Pointing past nationalism and corporate empire, Uneasy Empire combines a radical critique with hopeful solutions and a vision of democratic globalism.

Available Soon
The People’s Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution

The first comprehensive analysis of Bernie Sanders’ mayoral years in Burlington and the progressive movement in Vermont during the 1970s and 1980s. Published by New England Press in 1989.

A fast-moving description that illustrates one of the great efforts at innovative government of the past fifty years… -- Pierre Clavel, Cornell University

A treasure house of first-hand information and perceptive, if often controversial analysis of great value to anyone concerned to explore realistically the possibilities for combining third-party electoral politics with other methods of working for justice, peace, environmental sanity and genuine democracy. – David Dellinger, author/activist

If you are at all interested in Vermont and Burlington, and public policy, get this book. – Phil Hoff, former Vermont Governor

Other Recent Stuff
Up in Arms (research for a Seven Days feature)

Doomsday Obsessions: Imagining the End (from the blog)
Selected Web Articles

On the Radio: Pacifica & Progressive Politics

That’s it for now. Keep in touch and stay a Maverick.


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