Madison authors, topics, book events & publishers
Stu Levitan welcomes former Madison journalist Bill Christofferson, author of The Man From Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson, himself a former Madisonian, from our friends at the University of Wisconsin Press, still located right here in Madison.
As to Gaylord Nelson – Tom Brokaw calls him “one of the great public servants” of the post-war era. His Senate colleague George McGovern calls him “a magnificent man.” Former VP Al Gore says his story is “an inspiration.” Even Ralph Nader calls him “one of the great can-do senators of his time.” And those are just the folks who wrote endorsement blurbs for this book. Pretty much everybody who worked with him or for him, or covered him, agrees. Conservation, the environment, peace, social justice, consumer protection – pick just about any important issue, and Gaylord Nelson made things better. And he did so with honor and humility and humor
And as to Bill Christofferson – well, he’s a pretty fine fellow, too. He’s a Marine Corps veteran, served 17 months in Vietnam as a combat correspondent … which is why he’s a long-time active member of the Milwaukee chapter of Veterans for Peace.
After Vietnam, he was a reporter and editor at daily newspapers in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois before coming to Madison in 1973 to cover the legislature and politics for the Wisconsin State Journal. He also became president of the State Journal Union so when the strike came in 1977, he became a reporter and editor of the strike newspaper, the Madison Press Connection. Which is when we went from being competitors to being colleagues, which I much preferred.
After the strike, he spent four years as the director of Nukewatch, educating the public on nuclear weapons and nuclear power and helping to pass a statewide nuclear freeze referendum. He is also a past chair of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, a statewide coalition of 165 organizations working for social justice.
As a political consultant and aide, his clients have included Ed Garvey, Tom Loftus, Senator Herb Kohl, Governor Jim Doyle, Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, and Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist.
It is a pleasure to welcome to Madison BookBeat, my friend and former colleague, Bill Christofferson.