An Unauthorized Biography of the World
Oral History on the Front Lines
An Unauthorized Biography of the World explores the practice of engaged oral history: the difficult, sometimes dangerous work of recovering fragments of human story that have gone missing from the official versions.
Michael Riordon has thirty years' experience as a writer and broadcaster in the field. Readers will encounter a gallery of brave, passionate people who gather silenced voices and lost life stories. The canvas is broad, the stakes are high: the battles for First Nations lands in Canada; environmental justice in Chicago; genocide in Peru; homeless people organizing in Cleveland; September 11/01, and after, in New York City; gay survivors of electroshock in Britain; the struggle to preserve a people's identity in Newfoundland; peasant resistance to a huge transnational gold mine in Turkey.
MICHAEL RIORDAN teaches writing, and has written two books of oral history: Out our Way: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Country (BTL, 1996), and Eating Fire: Family Life on the Queer Side (BTL, 2001). He lives near Picton, Ontario.