Bill Ayers in the news. The Chicago educator and former SDS activist later associated with the Weatherman faction, called a proposal by an Illinois state senator to have him fired “absurd.”
Meanwhile Publishers Weekly, referring to Ayers as a “lauded educational theorist,” announced that the scholarly Teachers College Press will publish a graphic novel adaptation of Ayers’ critically acclaimed memoir, “To Teach: The Journey.”
Ayers is a highly regarded professor at the University of Chicago at Illinois. The right wing attempted to make Ayers’ alleged association with Barack Obama an issue during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Thorne Dreyer / The Rag Blog / February 7, 2009
William Ayers calls push for his firing by Illinois state senator ‘frivolous’
By Steve Brosinski / February 6, 2009
See ‘Teachers College Press to Publish Graphic Adaptation of Bill Ayers Memoir’ by Calvin Reid, Below.
Calling a state senator’s push to get him axed from his public university job “frivolous,” William Ayers on Thursday said lawmakers have more important things to do than to go after him.
Ayers, a former member of the radical Weather Underground and a topic of heated discussion during the 2008 presidential and primary campaigns, was responding to a Downstate Republican’s proposal to forbid a public university from employing someone who has “committed a violent act” against the United States or Illinois.
“This is absurd,” Ayers, 64, said in a speech at Riverside-Brookfield High School. “It’s a waste of time.”
The Weather Underground set off bombs at government buildings in protest of the Vietnam War. In a 2001 book, Ayers said he participated but never hurt anyone. Charges were filed against him but were dropped in 1973.
Ayers, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the proposal by state Sen. Larry Bomke of Springfield is “working off of a Fox News paradigm.”
Ayers defended his controversial past, and said it would have been wrong to not take a stance against the Vietnam War.
Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune
Source / Chicago Tribune
Teachers College Press to publish graphic adaptation of Bill Ayers memoir
By Calvin Reid / February 5, 2009
Teachers College Press, a scholarly, professional and trade publisher focused on the theory and practice of teacher education, has reached agreement on a two-book deal with William Ayers, the University of Illinois at Chicago professor, lauded educational theorist and former leader of the radical 1960s Weather Underground. And, yes, Ayers is indeed the same figure dragooned into the 2008 presidential race in a controversial attempt to use his background in radical politics and a minor acquaintance with Barack Obama to undermine Obama’s presidential run.
In spring 2010, TCP will publish a graphic novel adaptation of To Teach: The Journey, a much-praised memoir of Ayers’s life as a teacher, tentatively to be called To Teach: The Graphic Memoir with art by Xeric Award-winner Ryan Alexander-Tanner. More than a simple memoir, To Teach is also a peer-reviewed work of scholarship on Ayers’s teaching precepts as well as a vivid recollection of his adventures in the classroom. At the same time, TCP will publish a new and revised third edition of the original prose To Teach: The Journey. One of TCP’s all-time bestselling titles, To Teach was originally published in 1993 and has sold more than 75,000 copies over three printings, the last one released in 2001.
“For an academic/scholarly press, that’s a major bestseller,” noted TCP acquisitions editor Meg Lemke, who “co-acquired” the book with TCP director Carol Saltz, who will edit the new prose edition. Lemke will oversee the production of the graphic edition. Despite the media hoopla over his radical past, Ayers is a serious and much respected Chicago-based educational activist and theorist who has been with TCP for years and published at least five books at the house. Ayers is also the series editor of TCP’s Teaching Social Justice series of titles. (Fugitive Days, Ayers’s memoir of his past as a radical political activist is published by Beacon Press.). The idea to produce a graphic novel version of Ayers’s classic education title came after TCP contacted him about an updated edition of To Teach, which was lasted revised in 2001. “It was a collaborative idea among Carol, myself and Bill,” Lemke said.
The artist for the project, Alexander-Tanner, has won a Xeric Award (a grant presented in support of self-published comics). A former student of Ayers’s brother Rick, Alexander-Tanner had done interviews with William Ayers for a series of cartoons about him and was an easy pick to illustrate the project. Alexander-Tanner, who lives in Portland, Ore., even moved to Chicago to live in Ayers’s house for five months to fully collaborate on the adaptation.
Lemke called the graphic novel adaptation “well-written and drawn, serious but still funny and inspiring” and compared it to such graphic nonfiction works as Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. She said To Teach is “a popular course adoption text and we think the graphic adaptation will pair with this for courses at the high school as well as college level, and become an even more widely loved ‘gift book’ for aspiring progressive teachers and anyone working with youth.”
Source / Publishers Weekly