John Barbours World, March 23, 2015
John Barbour's World with John Barbour and special guest Dick Russell
MARK CRISPIN MILLER talks about his Forbidden Bookshelf project which makes accessible books previously banned, censored, or in some way kept out of public viewing.
DICK RUSSELL has published eleven books on subjects ranging from natural history to the assassination of President Kennedy. Of five books co-authored with former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, four have reached the New York Times Best-Seller list: They Killed Our President! (2013), 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read (2011), American Conspiracies (2010), and Don’t Start the Revolution Without Me (2008). A monumental biography, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, Volume One: The Making of a Psychologist, was published in 2013 and will come out in paperback in autumn 2014 – which will also see hardcover publication of a memoir, My Mysterious Son.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, Russell has recently been featured in documentaries by Shane O'Sullivan ("Killing Oswald") and in "Last Word on the Assassination" by John Barbour, both available on Amazon. "On the Trail of the JFK Assassins," Russell's second book examining the conspiracy behind what happened to President Kennedy, appeared in 2008, when Russell was also a consultant on the web-based documentary film, "The Warning" and was featured in a National Geographic documentary on whales.
For most of the past twenty years, the primary focus of Dick Russell's magazine writing and personal activism has been the environment - particularly the crisis impacting the world's fisheries and oceans. A longtime sports fisherman, Russell spent the better part of three years fighting for stronger regulations to protect the endangered Atlantic striped bass. He organized a national conference in Washington, D.C., and appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. For his efforts, Russell was awarded the citizen's Chevron Conservation Award in 1988. Today, the return of the striped bass is considered the foremost example of the resiliency of the oceans - provided a species is given a chance to recover. His new book on this subject, Striper Wars: An American Fish Story, was published by Island Press/Shearwater Books in Summer 2005 and is now available in paperback. The book has been described as "one of the most amazing fish stories...ever" by the Philadelphia Inquirer and "a can't-put-down read" by the Boston Globe.
Russell's previous book is Eye of the Whale (Simon & Schuster hard-cover; paperback edition by Island Press/Shearwater Books), which upon publication was named among the Best Books of 2001 by three major newspapers: the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It is an account of his following the migration of the California gray whale, from Mexico's Baja peninsula all the way to northern Alaska and Siberia. According to L.A. Times' reviewer Richard Ellis, this book "will change the way you think about the natural world."
Russell has written dozens of articles about other environmental issues, for publications ranging from The Nation to Parenting, and served for eighteen years as a Contributing Editor for OnEarth (formerly Amicus Journal), the award-winning quarterly publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has also been a recipient of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation's Golden Swordfish Award (1984), and is an active member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and PEN USA.
He has published two other widely-acclaimed books. The Man Who knew Too Much (Carroll & Graf, 1992) was hailed by Publisher's Weekly as "a masterpiece of historical reconstruction" focusing on the Kennedy assassination. The book was reissued in a revised, updated edition in 2003, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of that tragic event. Black Genius: And the American Experience (Carroll & Graf, 1998) is a path-breaking study of African-American artists, writers, musicians, educators, and scientists, past and present. According to one reviewer, the book "signals a maturity in our sea-to-shining-sea culture that's long overdue." Including a new chapter about Barack Obama, "Black Genius" was reissued in a revised, updated paperback edition in 2009 by Skyhorse Publishing.
In earlier "incarnations," Russell was a staff writer in the Hollywood Bureau of TV Guide Magazine (1977-79), and a staff reporter for Sports Illustrated (1969-70) in New York. His free-lance articles have appeared in numerous publications, from Family Health to the Village Voice. His work has been published in ten other books. He has been a guest on many national TV and radio programs, including the Joan Rivers Show and NBC Nightly News, and has been a guest lecturer at universities including Harvard and the University of California, at the National Arts Club, and elsewhere.
Married and with one child, Russell divides his time between Boston and Los Angeles. He has traveled widely in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and Central America. He is a 1969 graduate (BA, Humanities) of the University of Kansas.
John Barbour "the godfather of reality TV" created, co-hosted, co-produced, and wrote 'Real People' - the first reality show, which was number one on NBC for three years during the early 1980's.
Barbour moved to the United States in the early sixties. His comedy act, particularly his 1965 album, It's Tough to Be White, dealt in part with civil rights and black-white relations.
Barbour hosted the pilot for The Gong Show in the mid '70s, and was a regular panelist on the 1988 Canadian (US syndicated) version of Liar's Club.
Barbour portrayed game show host Harry Monte in a 1975 episode of Sanford and Son.
John Produced, Wrote, and Hosted 'Ernie Kovacs: TV's Original Genius,'for Showtime that aired later on PBS. At the time it was reviewed as 'the best documentary about a performer!'
He also directed and wrote the 1992 documentary The JFK Assassination: The Jim Garrison Tapes. This film covers the investigation of District Attorney Jim Garrison, who, after the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, decided to further investigate the official report given by the Warren Commission. The documentary hypothesizes connections between the assassination and the FBI, the CIA, the Mafia, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and other organizations and foreign affairs issues. The film won an award in 1993 at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.