Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener teaches US history at UC Irvine. His latest book, How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America (University of California Press), has just been published. He sued the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act for its files on John Lennon. With the help of the ACLU of Southern California, Wiener v. FBI went all the way to the Supreme Court before the FBI settled in 1997. That story is told in Wiener's book, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 11:29am
Ike's Dream, Obama's Reality: 8 Things I Miss About the Cold War
At a book festival in Los Angeles recently, some writers (myself included) were making the usual arguments about the problems with American politics in the 1950s -- until one panelist shocked the audience by declaring, “God, I miss the Cold War.” His grandmother, he said, had come to California from Oklahoma with a grade-school education, but found a job in an aerospace factory in L.A.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 6:44am
Remembering Gore Vidal (1925 - 2012)
Victor Navasky tells one of the most revealing stories about Gore Vidal, who died July 31 in Los Angeles at age 86. In 1986, Gore wrote an essay for the magazine’s 120th anniversary issue.
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Friday, July 6, 2012 - 11:17am
'Shut Down San Onofre': The New Front Line in the Fight Against Nuclear Power
Not long after the meltdown at Fukushima, workers at the San Onofre nuclear power plant, north of San Diego, discovered radioactive steam leaking into the air. Hundreds of steam tubes had been banging together and vibrating, investigators said, until one of them sprung a leak. And the tubes had been installed less than two years ago. So in January they shut down the reactors.
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Friday, November 25, 2011 - 9:38am
Berkeley Faculty: No Confidence in Chancellor Over Campus Police Violence
Berkeley is not only a school with an honored history of campus protest; it’s also our greatest public university, and its faculty include some of the country’s most brilliant and accomplished people. So when those faculty members meet to debate police violence against the “Occupy” movement on their campus, it’s big news.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010 - 11:09am
Bob Dylan's Defense of John Lennon
How do you explain the value of a rock musician to the Immigration service? On what would have been John Lennon's seventieth birthday—October 9—it's worth noting the letter about Lennon that Bob Dylan sent to the US immigration service in 1972: "John and Yoko," Dylan wrote, "inspire and transcend and stimulate," and thereby "help put an end to this mild dull taste of petty commercialism which is being passed off as artist art by the overpowering mass media." Then he added, "Let John and Yoko stay!"
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Monday, November 2, 2009 - 3:38pm
Berlin, Israel, Mexico: Walls Across the World
It's being called "the most ambitious commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany": "The Wall Project" in Los Angeles -- and its political message will surprise many. Artists commissioned by the organizers have promised works that draw analogies between the Berlin Wall and the wall the Israelis have erected along the border with the West Bank, and the wall the US has erected along the Mexican border.
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Monday, March 17, 2008 - 4:08pm
Clinton's Iraq Vote - Five Years Later
The fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war provides an appropriate moment to revisit Hillary Clinton's argument in favor of authorizing Bush's use of force, and to contrast it with the case made at the time by Bush's opponents. In the last few years, Clinton has defended her vote by arguing that "if I knew then what I know now, I would never have given President Bush the authority" to attack Iraq. But a majority of Democrats in the House knew enough "then" to vote against the resolution - as did 21 out of 50 Democratic senators.
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Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 5:34pm
What Hillary Hasn't Done in Foreign Policy
During the eight years Hillary was First Lady, she didn't deal with terrorism, Osama bin Laden, or Al Qaeda. She wasn't a decision-maker on any of the other big foreign policy issues of her husband's presidency: whether to send troops to Bosnia or Kosovo, whether to bomb terrorist bases in Afghanistan or suspected terrorist sites in the Sudan. She didn't deal with the problems in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. She didn't work on nuclear proliferation. She did not deal with genocide in Rwanda.
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Friday, September 28, 2007 - 3:23pm
John Dean: From Nixon to Bush to Giuliani--"Much, Much Worse"
John Dean knows something about White House abuse of power. He wrote a bestseller in 2004 on the Bush White House called Worse Than Watergate . In a recent interview I asked him what he thinks of that title now. Now, he replied, a book comparing Bush and Nixon would have to be called Much, Much Worse .
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - 1:38pm
The Six-Day War, 40 Years Later
Israel went to war 40 years ago this week more because of "psychological weakness" than because of a genuine strategic threat--that's the conclusion of Tom Segev, one of Israel's leading historians, and author of the new book 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East .
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