Author and anti-war activist Mike Palecek tours with new books

Whitney Trettien
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Author and anti-war activist Mike Palecek tours with new books

Sheldon, Iowa — From Tulsa to Denver, noted author and activist Mike Palecek hits the road this spring with two new books: Iowa Terror and Cost of Freedom: The Anthology of Peace and Activism.

Described by Howard Zinn as a writer with “passion, wit,” and “a profound social conscience,” Palecek has been writing antiwar, political novels for over 10 years.

“I write to throw stones,” Palecek says. “Abbie Hoffman said ‘steal this book.’ I hope one day my books will be bricks – toss this brick – through the windows of my comfortable neighbors, neighborhood churches, side windows of SUVs.”

Palecek’s latest work, Iowa Terror, takes on 9/11 through the story of Jesus Iowa, an immigrant who experiences Sept. 11, 2001 along with the rest of America – except that he understood what was really happening. “Jesus did not just go to school the next day and try to forget like the rest of us, carry on with his life, forget about the world,” Palecek says. “It bothered him, tore him up, and he acted, did something, in the great good tradition of an American patriot.”

“And he came to be reviled as The Terrorist,” Palecek adds, “pursued by all the traditional idiots of small-town America in the process.”

Iowa Terror is in large format, with color illustrations. Ruth and Mike Palecek published it with Seventh Street Press.

Palecek also recently co-edited Cost of Freedom: The Anthology of Peace and Activism, released by Howling Dog Press in Fall 2007. “I hear on our hometown radio that I owe my freedom to the soldiers,” says Palecek. “And that of course is b.s. I owe it to the protestors, who have fought Bush and his crew from day one, on the street corners of Duluth, Dalhart, Denver, for years. There are your heroes, America.”

A coffee-table style book crammed with photos, essays, poetry and art from everyday peace activists, Cost of Freedom has garnered praise from Ramsey Clark, Ralph Nader, Thom Hartmann, Harry Belafonte and Noam Chomsky, who writes that Cost of Freedom “should inspire many more to join in these efforts to create a powerful force of concerned citizens that cannot be ignored.”

Palecek is touring with both books this spring, hitting venues in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Nevada before moving up California into Oregon and Washington. After a stop in Idaho and Salt Lake City, Utah, Palecek ends in Colorado, where Howling Dog Press is located.

For specific dates and venues, visit or

To set up an interview, please contact Whitney Trettien at

Edited by Michael Annis, Mike Palecek, Whitney Trettien
Howling Dog Press, 2007

Freedom, they tell us, isn't free. The cost of freedom isn't cheap; it's shock and awe aggression, it's proud of it's country right or wrong, it's unquestioning -- it follows orders, from the president, to the governor, to the local cop, while giving orders to the rest of the world -- dominating, hard-bitten, hard-nosed, decisive. Troop surges and civilian casualties are the cost of freedom; violence, bloodshed, death, destruction, genocide, torture, incarceration of evildoers . . .

Challenging this suspiciously heinous conception of patriotism, novelist Mike Palecek began gathering stories from activists across the United States, asking their perspective on the “cost of freedom.” He found accomplices in Whitney Trettien, an MIT graduate student, and Michael Annis, an independent publisher. Together, the three of them assembled contributions from activists who knew that America was losing her Constitution to liars, murderers, and thieves.

The resulting letters, articles, sentencing statements, songs, poems, collages and photos are Cost of Freedom. From a grandmother's stay at Camp Casey to a young man's counter-inauguration protest (and subsequent run-in with the FBI), Cost of Freedom documents the everyday revolutionary acts of over 75 courageous men and women -- common citizens with an uncommon resolve and mission in life for peace, truth, and liberty, oftentimes at their personal expense.

To stand as one against tyranny . . . Cost of Freedom celebrates that.

A novel by Mike Palecek
Seventh Street Press, March 2008

Terror warnings on TV, terror music on the radio. Kate Smith singing. God Bless America! We must really be in trouble.

Right? . .

In George W. Bush’s America, Iowa Terror stands out as a voice for truth, challenging truth, challenging the intentional deception, the propaganda machine that is in constant motion, zinging, whizzing, blaring, from every direction.

Writer, activist and former federal prisoner for peace, MIKE PALECEK is currently organizing a book tour to promote Cost of Freedom and his latest work, Iowa Terror. He hails from Iowa. His other books include Looking for Bigfoot, The Truth, Joe Coffee’s Revolution, Terror Nation, The Last Liberal Outlaw, and others. For more information,

WHITNEY TRETTIEN is a Truman Scholar and graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. She has worked as a community organizer, freelance writer, editor and librarian, and currently conducts research for HyperStudio, the Digital Humanities Lab at MIT. Whitney can be contacted at

Since 1981, MICHAEL ANNIS, founder of Howling Dog Press, has written and performed socially progressive works including the award-winning Brave New
World Order; he’s lectured and taught, and published the works of some of the most revolutionary voices in America, such as William Burroughs, David Ray,
Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Jim Corbett, Gregory Corso, Antler, Diane diPrima, Oswald Le Winter, Diane Wakoski, Gregory Greyhawk, Andrei Codrescu and many others, including indigenous writers and artists. He’s dedicated his life to activism and challenging the status quo of cultural repression, while bringing forth alternative perspectives from cultural trailblazers.

"... a gripping and disturbing tale of small town America in the post September 11th world. Palecek skillfully weaves elements of the official lie of 9-11 into a dark story of murder, mystery, propaganda, and the American 'homeland.' Iowa Terror is both entertaining and thought provoking; a must read. You won’t be able to put it down!"

— Michael Wolsey, Host, Visibility 9-11


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Richard D. Brinkman

Richard D. Brinkman

A good read for those stressed and overwhelmed by the events of 911.
Its like hearing Lake Wobegon's Garrison Keillor's telling his version of 911truth in a warm and funny way!
I hope Michael Wolsey has Mike Palecek on his show sometime.