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      “In this unusual book, Carol Wilder, activist, teacher and life explorer, tells the story of two tumultuous decades lived in California. At a time when 60’s beatniks were fleeing the city and techie types were inventing the personal computer, Wilder was there inventing her own life. She taught communications at turbulent San Francisco State, raised two children in rural Mendocino County and posh San Francisco. She also witnessed up close the Silicon Valley computer revolution, mingling easily with both anti-war protestors and brilliant cybernetics pioneers. In vivid and fast-paced prose, Wilder brings to life this legendary period.”

Governor Jerry Brown



‘There is much here for any reader who enjoys strong tales from a natural and funny born storyteller. Carol plucks memories from a life well lived – the life of a leading academic, scholar and activist who loved Elvis, cars and motorcycles, fought the good activist fights against the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, lent a host of her considerable skills and talents to aid veterans and AIDS sufferers. She endured abhorrent misogyny and sexism and fought, too, through post-partum depression and addiction. Her book is a cultural history, really, replete with rich anecdotes, including of a number of those who defined the two decades in Northern California and beyond, and in it one finds deep, significant portraits of two now nearly obscure but once majestic figures Carol knew well – Gregory Bateson and Kenneth Burke, But the most interesting and compelling character in the book is Carol herself --- adventurer, academic, activist and, perhaps above all, a loving mother and grandmother, a remarkable woman who writes with verve and grace.  Read her and enjoy!”

Michael Krasny

Broadcaster, Author, Professor



“I walked into Swords to Plowshares a few months after I was discharged from the Army. I was there to learn how to present the subject to a classroom of high school students. A few months earlier I was incarcerated awaiting a punitive discharge in the Fort Riley Stockade. I was getting used to walking the streets a free man when the opportunity came to learn about how to more effectively explain the realities of military service, and speak about PTSD, the wounds that the Viet Nam war left in its wake. I pushed open the front glass door to see a tall attractive woman standing toward the center of the room of desks and video cameras. “Hi Keith. I’m Carol Wilder.” The introduction was weloming and Carol was a good listener with an amazing grasp of media. I got to see how I presented myself on camera and later attended many writing workshops. All of that work contributed to healing and recovery from my exile and prisons. Therapy helped and still does after 50 years. Carol helped me and a large segment of the veterans population in San Francisco prepare to enter schools armed with the skills to bring war to the students in a way they could digest. I’m grateful for those days when I was able to convey information to kids who might be the next wave of cannon fodder in an effort to spare them from the experience of combat; to warn them away from what could be their demise. I spoke to any group that would have a convicted deserter into their class. The stories in this book warm my heart remembering that there was so much good that confronted so much evil.”

                                                                        Keith Mather

                                                                         “The Presidio 27”

                                                                          Charged with Mutiny, 1968


  “From the Vietnam war and its lasting traumas to personal computing and AIDS, Wilder’s book rolls like her beloved Harley through the political and social landscapes of Northern California in the 70’s and 80’s, with stops along the way to visit with the political and intellectual luminaries she engaged with in a rich career as an academic and activist.”

Eric McGuckin

  Author and Professor of Anthropology


    “Carol Wilder may have felt she missed 1968 giving birth to a baby girl in the interior of Ohio, but she didn’t miss much after that. Living Northern California 1975-95 is a personal view quite different from Season of the Witch or any other book about San Francisco. Wilder is so right about San Francisco being a small town then and she was someone who traveled in all the intertwining circles that mattered--tech, social activism, and new age philosophy. Her writing style is so engaging that I could not put her book down.”

Mercilee Jenkins

                                                                           Playwright and Professor



“Carol's book ​contains multitudes, but as a Vietnam Vet and one who worked in the veteran community in SF during this period, I'd like to focus on ‘our’ stories - ones not often told. It's important to remember the attitudes of the American public toward Vietnam Veterans shifted dramatically during the period from one of indifference and even rejection to one of interest and support. Concerted efforts to understand the struggles veterans faced during combat and coming home became the norm. I believe Carol's work epitomized what turned the tide. She never hesitated to use her considerable skills, connections, and resources to help us tell our stories better and gain access to academia, students, and other professionals. In the classes she led at SF State she always reached out and engaged the local vet community. While the roster of guests for these classes was indeed heady, she always made room for the former ordinary ex-soldier. To learn more ask Carol for a copy of the 400 page 1991 Viet Nam Course Reader! Carol was not the only one nor San Francisco the only place, but in my eyes her experiences symbolize a larger dynamic that resulted in a country awaking to the hardships born by those it sent to war.”  

                                                                                    Michael Blecker

                                                                                      Executive Director

                                                                                      Swords to Plowshares, SF


“The name Carol Wilder feels, in this author's hands, like a rebellious pleading, as in, ‘Carol More Wildly!’  Although in this case the singing might come from the wild origins of caroling, before Christmas was sanitized with repetitive songs, because Carol Wilder is a hell of an original. Take this rollicking ride up from the sidewalk through the front door of the thousands she has met and moved through history with, the great thinkers and

lovers and artists and by the end it feels like - you and me.”

                                                                                    William Talen

                                                                                       Political Performance Artist “Rev. Billy”\



“Reading this enchanting book will make you want to move to Point Arena immediately. Don’t even think about it.”

          Stephen Suddith, Proprietor

                                                                                     Sign of the Whale Bar, Point Arena

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