| Striper Wars Eye of the Whale The Man who Knew Too Much
Black Genius Jesse Ventura James Hillman
Recently Posted Articles List
My Mysterious Son
|My latest book, a memoir titled "My Mysterious Son: A Life-Changing Passage Between Schizophrenia and Shamanism," has just been published by Skyhorse. This is the most personal book I have ever written, often painfully so, but also a book that I hope will show readers that there is a vastly different side to "mental illness" than is generally accepted by Western thought and medicine. The book may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the cover image.|
Here is what the publisher has to say about the book in their latest catalogue copy:
|What does a father do when hope is gone that his only son can ever lead anything close to a “normal” life? That’s the question that haunted Dick Russell in the fall of 2011, when his son, Franklin, was thirty-two. At the age of seventeen, Franklin had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. For years, he spent time in and out of various hospitals, and even went through periods of adamantly denying that Dick was actually his father.
A mixed-race child, Franklin was handsome, intelligent, and sensitive until his mental illness suddenly took control. After spending the ensuing years trying to build some semblance of a normal father-son relationship, Dick was invited with his son, out of the blue, to witness the annual wildlife migration on Africa’s Serengeti Plain. Seizing this potential opportunity to repair the damage that both had struggled with, after going through two perilous nights together in Tanzania, ultimately the two-week trip changed both of their lives.
Desperately seeking an alternative to the medical model’s medication regimen, the author introduces Franklin to a West African shaman in Jamaica. Dick discovers Franklin’s psychic capabilities behind the seemingly delusional thought patterns, as well as his artistic talents. Theirs becomes an ancestral quest, the journey finally taking them to the sacred lands of New Mexico and an indigenous healer. For those who understand the pain of mental illness as well the bond between a parent and a child, "My Mysterious Son" shares the intimate and beautiful story of a father who will do everything in his power to repair his relationship with a young man damaged by mental illness.
And here is the first review on Amazon. I am hoping that, after reading the book, some of you may also wish to post one.
a path-breaking and irreplaceable book
By Randolph Severson, on October 30, 2014
This book really is sui generis. I've never read anything quite like it. On one level it is a concise summary of our current understanding of schizophrenia, especially from a depth and neuro-psychological perspective; on another it is a rivetting story of a father's determined quest to understand and find help for his son who suffers from the illness; on still another it is an exciting adventure story that takes father and son to Africa and then to New Mexico and the ancient Meso-American mysteries embedded there; and on yet another level it is a document humain recording a gripping tale of self discovery and spiritual awakening. And along the way guidance from the renowned psychologist, James Hillman, African shaman and Men's Movement leader, Malidoma, and Patrick Toomay, an ex NFL stand out, writer and guide, deeply versed in ancient lore. Written with an unflinching honesty, clarity, verve, humor and grace, it is a must read for all mental health professionals and a message of hope and understanding for families afflicted with schizophrenia. For the general reader it is one of those books that you just can't put down. Very highly recommended.
The latest report from "the barricades" in Mexico City, by poet/environmentalist Homero Aridjis:
We're Mad as Hell, and We're Not Going to Take It Anymore
by Homero Aridjis, The World Post, Nov. 22, 2014
MEXICO CITY -- Thursday, on the 104th anniversary of the 1910 Mexican Revolution in which millions died, the traditional military parade in Mexico City was hastily cancelled to make way for tens of thousands of students, teachers, families, social activists and people from all walks of society who converged in three orderly throngs on the Zocalo, the city's imposing central square and the political heart of the country, to demand the reappearance of 43 missing students from a rural teachers' college in Ayotzinapa, in Guerrero state, who were abducted in the nearby city of Iguala by police and drug gang members the night of Sept. 26-27. Family members of the missing students led the marches.
Many marchers carried placards with photographs of the students, and as we made our way down the spacious Paseo de la Reforma, the chant of "1, 2, 3, up to 43, justice!" resounded over and over again. A man dressed as Father Miguel Hidalgo, a leader of the 1810 Mexican War of Independence, waved a pennant emblazoned with the Virgin of Guadalupe, shouting "Death to bad government!"
Among the cries I heard and banners I saw were:
|"Tell my mother I don't know when I'll be back, I went to find my country", "Who killed the students? It was the State!", "Revolution, Revolution!" "You have died, comrade, your death will be avenged!", "Peña, resign!" (addressed to President Enrique Peña Nieto), "Magic does exist, the students vanished", "I think, therefore I am disappeared", "Sorry to bother you, but they're killing us", "Criminals, you haven't kidnapped a mere 43 students, but an entire nation", "I'm tired of being, kidnapped, extorted, assassinated", "This struggle is against the narco-state. If you take drugs you're not on our side", "Death to the PRI!' (the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party), "It's time to howl, coyotes of Mexico" (the police turned the students over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang at a place known as Coyote Hill), "I don't want to be number 44", "Peña, understand, the people can't stand you", "Why does the government fear students more than narcos?", "Mexico is crying for a change."|
I was impressed by the degree of anger, by the overwhelming dissatisfaction with the way things are now, by the unanimity of the clamor for change. I felt that a breaking point will soon be reached...
complete article here
LOST AT SEA
On the same day (Nov. 18) that the Senate rejected the Keystone pipeline by a single vote – a huge victory for everyone concerned about climate change and the future of our civilization – the water front news was much more dismal.
- The Pacific bluefin tuna was added to the “red list” of species threatened with extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. That’s almost entirely due to its use in the sushi and sashimi markets of Japan. With juveniles that have yet to reproduce comprising the majority of the tuna caught, the population has fallen by one-third over the past two decades.
- Japan announced plans to greatly expand its Antarctic whaling area, under the guise of so-called “scientific research,” proposing to hunt 333 minke whales through the end of 2015. This program followed an earlier ruling by the International Court of Justice that Japanese “scientific whaling” was nothing more than commercial whaling by a different name.
- In the Chesapeake Bay, where the EPA has finally been making progress in working with states on a clean-up plan, oral arguments are about to begin in a lawsuit to curtail the process, brought by the “Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.” Here’s the way they are looking to pull this off: a group of 21 state attorneys general – from as far away as Texas, Wyoming and Alaska – has banded together with lobbyists representing big agriculture, fertilizer, and construction. They claim, ridiculously, that if the Chesapeake plan to limit pollution goes forward, “other watersheds, including the Mississippi River Basin….could be next.”
Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), responded that if this suit succeeds, it would mean “the most scientifically based, carefully developed pollution reduction protocol for a major body of water in the world would be taken off the table and eliminated.” In fact, as a peer-reviewed report by the CBF has found, the cleanup would bring significant economic benefits for bay states – an additional $22.5 billion a year through improved water and air quality, agricultural and seafood production, property values, and flood and hurricane protection.
This comes at a time when the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has finally approved new regulations seeking to implement a 25 percent reduction in the taking of striped bass, whose population is in the worst shape since the 1980s. More than 70 percent of the Eastern seaboard’s striped bass spawn in the Chesapeake, where their primary food supply (Atlantic menhaden) has been stripped to 90 percent of its former abundance by the Omega Protein Corporation’s trawling fleet. (The small baitfish are ground up and turned into fish oil and fish meal).
Just as steps are made in the right direction, powerful forces continue to rise up with only the pocketbook in mind. We, the people, need to rise up in equal measure.
- Dick Russell
The Movement for Restorative Justice
By Dick Russell
It’s a warm weekend not far south of Boston. Behind the thirty-foot walls of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution’s Norfolk prison – the state’s largest, with some 1,500 inmates - five men stand together facing a crowded auditorium. A large banner at the back reads: “Building safer communities inside the prison and beyond the walls of incarceration – what is it going to take?” Each of these five inmates has been convicted of a violent crime; most are serving life sentences for murder. Their audience includes not only about 150 other prisoners, but judges, prosecutors, teachers, political and community leaders. It also includes a number of mothers of homicide victims whose sons were killed.
To the plaintive introductory beat of a drummer on the stage behind them, the men take turns walking to the microphone and reading from handwritten statements. These are letters of public apology. One fellow, his voice cracking, says he “took two lives” – because his mother had never recovered from what he’d done. Another speaks of how he’d murdered two of his closest friends, to impress the other members of his gang. A third talks of having driven the getaway car and not actually shooting anyone, but how this was no excuse.
For the first time, they are openly acknowledging their wrongdoing and the harm it has caused their victims, their communities, and their own families. There is no “making it right.” But through taking responsibility and holding themselves accountable for their actions, perhaps a healing process can begin. Even, for some of the mothers and fathers of homicide victims, a possibility that they will find it in themselves to forgive.
Now Janet Connors is addressing the group. She is a lifelong resident of a tough neighborhood in the Boston suburb of Dorchester, and the mother of three. One of those children was slain in 2001. “We can’t bring our sons back, but we can bring them forward,” she says. In 2006, Connors met inside the prison with two men convicted of her son Joel’s murder – the first time state correctional officials had allowed this to happen. She felt the apologies “were coming from the heart” and offered them “half her forgiveness.” The other half would come with their commitment to lead different lives...
Read complete article here
Enough! Mexico Is Ready to Explode
by Homero Aridjis - The World Post
The harrowing story of what's currently going on in Mexico is spelled out in full detail here by my friend, the poet/activist Homero Aridjis - a must-read for understanding the situation on the other side of the border - Dick Russell.
Threat to Cabo Pulmo National Park from Cabo Cortés project re-emerges
Carolina Herrera's Blog, Switchboard
And speaking of Mexico, this just in from the NRDC - it seems the disastrous development that would wipe out one of the world's most productive coral reefs is potentially "back in business." I'll keep updating my site with news. - Dick Russell.
Petition to Save the Monarch Butterflies
A petition is being circulated by the Center for Biological Diversity to have the monarch butterfly placed on the Endangered Species List. The more people sign, the better chance we have of saving this priceless and most beautiful of creatures. Click on the link to go to the petition. Meantime, my friend Homero Aridjis has a children's story around monarchs that will be coming out at the end of September, published by Macmillan. Homero and his wife Betty are currently in Valle de Bravo, Mexico for a trinational monarch meeting. - Dick Russell
Click here: Save Monarch Butterflies
We The People with Jesse Ventura
On September 11, I was the guest of Jesse Ventura - with whom I've co-authored five books - on his weekly Podcast, "We the People." We focused on the importance of uncovering the truth about what really happened on 9/11, given the new evidence coming out about the 28 pages the Bush Administration ordered deleted from the official government report - concerning the likely involvement of Saudi Arabia in a conspiracy with the hijackers. - Dick Russell
Click here: We The People with Jesse Ventura
Hitchhiking to the Edge of Sanity...
A documentary film is in the works about my trek with photographer friend Steve Ewert across Europe Africa and the Middle East, from June 1970 - December 1971. We've been filmed extensively already in LA and in Chicago. Here is a link to filmmaker Scott Peterson's Indiegogo site, with trailer, please check it out and feel free to become part of the effort to get it made! - Dick Russell
A documentary film
An important new piece by Mexico's leading poet/environmental activist, Homero Aridjis...
Migrants Ride a 'Train of Death' to Get to America
& We're Ignoring the Root of the Problem
by Homero Aridjis
The World Post July 8/2014
The evening news in Mexico regularly features footage of a ramshackle freight train known as La Bestia (The Beast) making its way across the country bearing a cargo of illegal immigrants trying to reach the United States's southern border. One can see hundreds of men, women and children perched on the roof, crammed between the boxcars, clinging to the sides. The trains are loaded with cement, iron, quartz, wheat, corn, diesel, vegetable oil, fertilizer, or wood, but the human cattle along for the ride have no food, drink or guarantee of safety.
To reach the depot at Arriaga, in the state of Chiapas, across the border from Guatemala, from which La Bestia departs every two or three days, migrants walk for days, even skirting mountains to avoid immigration checkpoints and roadblocks. The U.S. border is two weeks from here on the back of the Beast. Along the way pregnant women, mothers with infants, teenagers and adults will sleep on the streets or, if lucky, in makeshift or more permanent church-run shelters. During the long journey, accidents often happen, and passengers tumbling off the roof have their limbs severed. An aid group in Honduras has counted more than 450 migrants who have returned mutilated. Derailments are common, with cars flying off the tracks, leading to injuries and death.
Murders, muggings, extortions, gang rapes of women and kidnappings (some 20,000 a year) are committed by the rapidly expanding Central American Mara Salvatrucha gangs or by Mexican drug traffickers such as the bloodthirsty Zetas...
Read full article here
MY BIOGRAPHY OF JAMES HILLMAN
The first volume of my new book, "The Life and Ideas of James Hillman," is being published in June by Helios Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Volume one of the biography is sub-titled "The Making of a Psychologist." This is the result of more than seven years of research, and I hope that even those with even a passing interest in psychology will find it of interest. I'll be updating here concerning my appearances, reviews, etc. Meantime, please check out the book cover, the publisher's press release, and an announcement concerning my upcoming lecture at the Jung Institute in Los Angeles. - Dick Russell.
The Winter of the Monarch
by Lincoln P. Brower and Homero Aridjis
In 2000, I visited the monarch butterfly sanctuaries in Mexico with Homero Aridjis, Lincoln Brower, and others. It was one of the most memorable experiences I've had in recent years - the stunning beauty of millions of these wondrous creatures festooned in the trees above us. As this piece in the New York Times by Homero and Lincoln demonstrates, the future existence of the monarchs - surely one of the great natural wonders of our planet - is theatened in several ways. This is a tragedy, and calls for action, especially on the front that Americans can fight: the proliferation of genetically modified organisms.
- Dick Russell
50 Reasons For 50 years
Recently Len Osanic interviewed me about my research into the Kennedy assassination, as part of his ongoing series "50 Reasons for 50 Years." I hope you'll check out his five-minute YouTube video.
- Dick Russell
LEGITIMACY OF THE U.S. ELECTION SYSTEM
|My longtime friend Randy Foote, who teaches political science at Roxbury Community College in Boston, recently gave a talk at MIT titled "Legitimacy of the U.S. Election System." As you will see, this is more of a question than a declarative statement. Harkening back to the idealism he knew as a Harvard student in the late 1960s, moving through the questionable election of George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, on to the current election and the threat of another possible theft by the Republican-controlled electronic voting machines, Foote's talk offers food-for-thought. - Dick Russell|
Click here: LEGITIMACY OF THE U.S. ELECTION SYSTEM
THE RUSSELL ARCHIVES
I have begun boxing up and donating a vast collection of research materials that I've gathered over the years in writing hundreds of articles and ten books. My extensive collection related to the Kennedy assassination and recent American history is going to Baylor University, which already has amassed material from numerous researchers in the field. (See www.baylor.edu/lib/poage) Files related to my book on "Black Genius" will be going to Northeastern University in Boston. My papers related to striped bass and fisheries conservation, utilized for my book "Striper Wars," are available at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. See the following link:
Click here: Finding aid for the Richard B. Russell striped bass and environmental journalism papers
NOT AN ACT OF GOD
My good friend Ross Gelbspan, author of two path-breaking books about climate change, has written a powerful piece about the impact of Hurricane Sandy and has given me permission to put it on my website. Go to www.heatisonline.org to keep up with Ross's up-to-the-minute postings on the climate crisis.
read: Not an act of God
From a young climate activist colleague, Yoni Binstock:
"I've recently added a new feature to the Climate Scores website where I've graded the Presidential candidates on how they stand on climate change."
Click for more...
Climate Scores... where Congressmen are scored
on climate change legislation
including bills and amendments on
renewable energy, climate change mitigation, subsidies and tax policies, and greenhouse gas regulation.
Mexico Cancels Controversial Baja Resort Project
- This announcement by Mexico's President Calderon represents a huge victory for environmental activists fighting to stop a mega-resort development proposed for one of the most productive coral reefs left in the world. My friends and I, who have a residence not far away on Baja's Sea of Cortez, were very involved in the battle against a Spanish development outfit, Hansa Urbana. So were Mexico's great poet and environmental leader, Homero Aridjis, along with the NRDC and Wildcoast organizations as well as local groups from Cabo Pulmo. This is the most important grassroots achievement in Mexico since President Zedillo cancelled the proposed saltworks at the gray whales' pristine birthing habitat in Laguna San Ignacio in 2000, a story recounted in my book "Eye of the Whale." - Dick Russell
Click here: Mexico Cancels Controversial Baja Resort Project - ABC News
New From Homero Aridjis
"The Sun, the Moon, and Walmart"
My friend, the Mexican poet/environmentalist Homero Aridjis, has just released through his Group of 100 organization a petition signed by more than 150 writers and artists from 30 countries, asking Mexican President Felipe Calderon to cancel gold and silver mining concessions granted to Canadian companies in Wirikuta, the sacred territory of the Huichol people. The survival of Huichol culture is at stake. - Dick Russell
petitions: Writers Intellectuals
Dick Russell has been added to the roster of clients of the AEI Speakers Bureau. For anyone interested in booking a speaking engagement to hear Dick on any of several topics, here's a link to their website: www.aeispeakers.com
TESTIMONY OF DICK RUSSELL
Author, Striper Wars
H796, An Act relative to the conservation of Atlantic striped bass
Massachusetts Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture
January 14, 2010
I thank you for allowing me to testify today on what I believe is an urgent conservation measure, vital to preserving for our children and grand-children the most magnificent fish that swims our near-shore waters. I am an environmental journalist and the author of six books, including one called Striper Wars, about the fish that is the subject of this hearing. And today I hope to offer some historical perspective, along with the reasons why H796 needs to be passed during the current legislative session.
Striped bass have been called the aquatic equivalent of the American bald eagle. Without Native Americans having taught the Pilgrims about how to take striped bass, they would not have survived their first difficult winters in the Plymouth Colony. Protection of striped bass was the reason for America’s very first conservation law, in 1639, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony general court ruled they were too valuable to be ground up and used for fertilizer. The first fishery management measures, in 1776, were also drawn up on the striper’s behalf...
complete article here
Published June 23rd, 2005...
Dick Russell's latest book:
An American Fish Story
The remarkable story of how one species was brought back from the brink of extinction only to face new and even more daunting threats...
When populations of striped bass began plummeting in the early 1980s, author and fisherman Dick Russell was there to lead an Atlantic coast conservation campaign that resulted in one of the most remarkable wildlife comebacks in the history of fisheries. As any avid fisherman will tell you, the striped bass has long been a favorite at the American dinner table; in fact, we've been feasting on the fish from the time of the Pilgrims. By 1980 that feasting had turned to overfishing by commercial fishing interests. Striper Wars is Dick Russell's inspiring account of the people and events responsible for the successful preservation of one of America's favorite fish and of what has happened since...
Click here for more...
hardcover: 288 pages / Island Press Shearwater Books (June 23, 2005)
Now in Paperback!
Eye of the Whale
"Once in a while, a book comes along that redefines its subject to the extent that most previous works immediately become obsolete. Eye of the Whale is such a book...it will change the way you think about the natural world."
RICHARD ELLIS, LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Named a Best Book of the Year by three major newspapers upon its initial publication, and now available for the first time in paperback, Eye of the Whale offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and natural history as Dick Russell follows the migration of the gray whale from Mexico's Baja peninsula to the Arctic's Bering Strait.
Click here for more...
Paperback: 688 pages / Island Press Shearwater Books (September 20, 2004)
In this collection of essays and interviews journalist Dick Russell examines the role of African Americans through two centuries of American history. He focuses primarily on the role of blacks in the cultural life of the United States. Russell writes about notable figures such as educator Mary McLeod Bethune, speaks with Harvard professor Cornel West about W. E. B. Du Bois, and discusses Frederick Douglass and James Baldwin in an essay titled "Timeless Voices, Parallel Realities." Black Genius and the American Experience, with an introduction by Alvin F. Poussaint, takes a thoughtful and fascinating look at the contributions to U.S. history made by Americans of African descent.
Click here for more...
Paperback: 497 pages / Carroll & Graf Publishers (February 1, 1999)