Joel Whitney

On his new book, Flights: Radicals on the Run
Joel Whitney Flights OR Books Point Reyes Books event Point Reyes Station Dance Palace
Saturday, August 24, 2024 - 4:00pm
Dance Palace Church Space
503 B St.
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


Free, donations welcome

Joel Whitney reads from his new book, Flights: Radicals on the Run (OR Books). 

“Mind-bending . . . so profound and original it defies a brief endorsement.” —Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous People's History of the United States

This free event will be held at the Dance Palace Church Space. No registration required.

About Flights: Radicals on the Run

Told through the lives of the American Century's most talented and stubborn dissidents, Flights is the archetypal hero's journey of a group of progressives whose struggle for truth, and for freedom from persecution, sent them into exile, both literal and metaphorical.

Wanted for a crime she did not commit, Professor Angela Davis went on the run in 1970, describing the struggle against panic in her nightly safehouse transfers: "Living as a fugitive means resisting hysteria, distinguishing between the creations of a frightened imagination and the real signs that the enemy is near." In her quest "to elude him, outsmart him," she recalled, "Thousands of my ancestors had waited, as I had...for nightfall to cover their steps..."

Davis is just one of a rich array of refugees portrayed here by Joel Whitney, all forced to flee homes and/or friends because of their progressive stance. In these pages are compelling profiles of Seymour Hersh, Lorraine Hansberry, Graham Greene, Paul Robeson, Gabriel García Márquez, George & Mary Oppen, Frances Stonor Saunders, Malcolm X, Octavio Paz, Diego Rivera, Angela Davis, Leonard Peltier, N. Scott Momaday, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan guerrilla fighter Everado and his American wife Jennifer Harbury, Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchú, deposed Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya and murdered Lenca environmentalist Berta Cáceres.

At once a group portrait of these geniuses of creative escape, Flights is also a prehistory (and indictment) of American mass surveillance, culminating in Edward Snowden's revelations, of torture, culminating in Abu Ghraib, of censorship, culminating in the incarceration of journalist Julian Assange, of fascism, culminating in January 6, and of political murder, culminating in the Bush-Obama-Trump air assassination program.

About Joel Whitney

Joel Whitney is the author of Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World's Best Writers, which The New Republic called a "powerful warning." His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Baffler, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Review, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. He is a former features editor at Al Jazeera America and a founder and former editor-in-chief of Guernica, for which he was awarded the 2017 PEN/Nora Magid Award for Excellence in Editing. His essays in The Baffler, Dissent and Salon were Notables in Best American Essays 2017,  2015, and  2013. 

Flights: Radicals on the Run By Joel Whitney Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682194317
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: OR Books - May 21st, 2024