Journalist and activist Thorne Dreyer interviews journalists, politicians, artists, and more in this rich and diverse collection.
“Thorne Dreyer has been the progressive voice of Texas dating back to his underground newspaper roots in Houston. The interviews in Making Waves tell the stories of a movement that changed America and the voices who defined it.”— Joe Nick Patoski, author and music journalist
“Making Waves is the perfect title for this exhilarating and enriching set of Dreyer’s Rag Radio interviews, ones that recapture the cultural and political ferment of the 1960s and 1970s in Texas and beyond. Most of all, these personal narratives humanize what have too often been caricatures of those years and, one might add, of Texas itself. Their voices are filled with the brio of life.”—Robert H. Abzug, author and emeritus professor of history, The University of Texas at Austin
“In this enthralling collection of interviews, the renowned founder of two cutting-edge underground newspapers demonstrates why he must be considered one of this country’s foremost public intellectuals. Brilliantly directing seminal figures in the arts, literature, culture, and dissident politics, Dreyer offers a vital contribution to American letters, journalism, and progressive thought and action.”—Robert Cottrell, historian and author of Izzy: A Biography of I. F. Stone
About the Book:
Journalist and activist Thorne Dreyer has interviewed hundreds of people for Rag Radio since it went on the air in 2009. Making Waves features transcripts from twenty-one of those interviews, with everyone from TV anchor Dan Rather to Senator Bernie Sanders to monumental sculptor Bob “Daddy-O” Wade. The Rag Radio archive is now part of the collections at the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.
As a student at the University of Texas in the 1960s, Dreyer joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and became heavily involved in civil rights and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. He also helped create and edit two underground newspapers—The Rag in Austin and Space City! in Houston—and later ran a public relations business with a diverse list of clients, including progressive political campaigns.
Dreyer credits the influence of his artist mother and writer father and their lively salons plus his journalism career, his political and social activism, and his stage acting experience for his interviewing success: “Put it all in a blender and Rag Radio was bound to whip up.”
Making Waves holds a wealth of information, but Dreyer makes it read like conversations among friends. “I always tell my guests that I want the discussion to be informal,” Dreyer says. “We’re going to record some important history here, but we also want to have fun.”
Making Waves is published by the Briscoe Center for American History and distributed by the University of Texas Press.
Dan Rather and Robin Rather • Bernie Sanders • Jim Hightower • Tom Hayden • Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers • Bill Minutaglio and Kaye Northcott on Molly Ivins • Ronnie Dugger • Paul Krassner • Al Reinert • Harry Hurt III • Leon McNealy • Frances “Poppy” Northcutt • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz • Pete Gershon • Margo Sawyer • Bob “Daddy-O” Wade and Jason Mellard • Eddie Wilson • Margaret Moser •Bill Kirchen • David Amram • Ed Sanders
“In Making Waves, perceptive yet relaxed conversations connect the sociopolitical dots across today’s progressive movements with verve and insight. From storytellers to music makers, national figures to local heroes and heroines, Making Waves suggests paths forward for movements that are needed now more than ever.”—Abe Peck, author of Uncovering the Sixties
“Thorne Dreyer’s collection of outstanding interviews in Making Waves is shaped and enriched by his many experiences as a countercultural pioneer. Interviewing writers, artists, musicians, and politicos on today’s Rag Radio program is a piece of cake for a guy whose newspaper office was once riddled by bullets and his radio transmission tower was blown up by the KKK.”—Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross
About the Author:
Thorne Dreyer is a director of the New Journalism Project and host of Rag Radio. A founder of 1960s underground papers The Rag in Austin and Space City! in Houston, he was an editor of Celebrating The Rag and Exploring Space City! He was also a feature writer for the early Texas Monthly magazine and general manager of KPFT-FM, the Pacifica radio station in Houston.
Book talk with Thorne Dreyer and Don Carleton:
Activist, journalist, and author Thorne Dreyer joins Don Carleton for a lively discussion on Dreyer’s book, Making Waves: The Rag Radio Interviews. Their discussion explores Dreyer’s personal history as well as his extensive interviews for Rag Radio that inspired the book. Making Waves was published by the Briscoe Center for American History and distributed by the University of Texas Press.