Ransoming Pagan Babies: The Selected Writings of Warren Hinckle (Heyday) | Mechanics' Institute

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Ransoming Pagan Babies: The Selected Writings of Warren Hinckle (Heyday)
A Panel Discussion

Heyday publisher Steve Wasserman moderates a panel with William R. Hearst III, Publisher, The Journal of Alta California, journalist Robert Scheer, writer and editor Deirdre English, and others.

From his exposés in Ramparts magazine to his hand in inventing gonzo, the late Warren Hinckle upended twentieth-century investigative reporting and gave it new provocation and zest. Ransoming Pagan Babies contains an astonishing thematic sweep: portraits of old San Francisco and its characters; insightful reporting on conflicts in Selma, Northern Ireland, and Vietnam; forays into local politics; and piercing depictions of a Bay Area riven by inequality and assassination. Hinckle wrote about his subjects with bluster, tenacity, heart, and a desire for adventure and justice. This book is the first to capture his swashbuckling energy and expansive talent in a single volume.

Co-sponsored by Heyday


Warren J. Hinckle III was born October 12, 1938, in San Francisco. He was executive editor of Ramparts magazine from 1964 to 1969, and he cofounded Scanlan’s magazine in 1970. He later served as editor for City of San FranciscoFrisco, and The Argonaut. He wrote regularly for the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, and the San Francisco Independent, and was the author of numerous books, including If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade: An Essential Memoir of a Lunatic Decade. He died in San Francisco on August 25, 2016.

William R. Hearst III, a grandson of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, is a board member of Hearst Corp. and an heir to the family fortune. Hearst Corp. owns newspapers, magazines, radio stations and stakes in cable TV channels Lifetime, A&E and ESPN. Will Hearst is a partner emeritus at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers. He was editor and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner newspaper from 1984 to 1995, and is now publisher of The Journal of Alta California.

Robert Scheer, a contributing editor to The Nation, is editor of Truthdig.com and author of books that include They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy. The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street, and The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq His weekly column, distributed by Creators Syndicate, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle. He is a clinical professor of communications at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Steve Wasserman is Heyday’s publisher and executive director. He is a former editor-at-large for Yale University Press and editorial director of Times Books/Random House and publisher of Hill & Wang and The Noonday Press at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. A founder of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the USC, Wasserman was a principal architect of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books during years he was editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review.

Deirdre English is the former Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones magazine where she worked for eight years, ending in 1986. She has written and edited work on a wide array of subjects related to investigative reporting, cultural politics, gender studies, and public policy. She has contributed articles, commentaries and reviews to Mother Jones magazine, The Nation, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and to public radio and television. She is currently a Lecturer at the U. C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. 


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