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        I've prepared this website mostly with my New Jersey City University students in mind.  I hope it will help students get some idea of what I teach and how I teach it.  It will also give students at least a glimmer of what I've been up to in my life. 
  About Myself
       My career reflects the ideals and aspirations of the late 1960s—years that I devoted to graduate studies, civil rights work, and teaching at the City College of New York. With significant social change afoot, and with so many opportunities for young people to make a difference, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the prospects of what I saw as the relatively elite and insulated life of college teaching. I wanted to live as “a citizen of the world” without confining myself to a college campus, or even to America.  I was eager to teach in settings that would enlarge my life; and I was determined to enter communities where I "didn’t belong,” using whatever skills I could muster as a writer to help disadvantaged people bring their lives and their voices into print.  I wanted to write about issues well beyond the range of my literary studies—books that would be accessible to non-academic readers.
      I’ve accomplished much of what I set out to do.  I've spent chunks
of my life living and writing in rural Tennessee, in Iran, England, France, and India.  I've taught in France, India, and Morocco. And I've written books that cover several genres: oral history, personal journalism, biography, travel/memoir, and fiction.  Also, working with David Villaverte, an NJCU student, I produced and directed a documentary film, Freedom's Front Line: Fayette County, Tennessee,  which was aired on WKNO, the PBS affiliate in Memphis.  You can check my brief resume for details.
My Writing
          Thoreau described his sojourn at Walden Pond as "an experiment in living"     and that is what writing each of my books has been for me.  Like all experiments, the outcome is never assured: writing entails risk and uncertainty -- but there is also the deep satisfaction of doing it. 
         My writing  has been driven by curiosity, by a wish to engage in life, and by the need to express myself.  Instead of merely listing the books that I've written, I have tried to explain why I wrote each book and what I learned from the experience.  A good website for ordering inexpensive copies of my books, or any books, is
      Under courses you will find my syllabi as well as information concerning my teaching approach, student responsibilities, and the format for written work.
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