Stu Levitan welcomes WORT’S own Frank Emspak about his new memoir Troublemaker: Saying No to Power.
You probably know Frank as a co-founder and producer of Madison Labor Radio, right here every Friday at 5:30 since January 1998. You may know him as a co-founder and executive producer of the syndicated Workers Independent News, which broadcast every weekday from 2002 to 2017. Or maybe you know him as Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin School for Workers, where he taught from 1991 to 2008.
And those of you of a certain age, or who have read your history books, may recall his service in the sixties as chair of the UW Socialist Club then chair of the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, member of the steering committee and lead organizer of Madison Citizens for a Vote on Vietnam then a successful doctoral candidate in the history department.
But in the 20 years or so between those two Madison eras of academics, activism and communications, a sojourn in Massachusetts wearing different colored collars as a hospital lab technician, skilled machinist and foundry worker.
And in each professional iteration, he has taken after his father and been a class-conscious union leader, here as President of United Faculty and Academic Staff Local 223, and in Massachusetts as Executive Board member and steward of competing unions, first at the largest shoe machine manufacturer in the country, then at a GE plant.
All in all, it has been quite a life, making Troublemaker quite a book. It’s a great pleasure to welcome Dr. Frank Emspak to Madison BookBeat.