Jonah Raskin was born in New York and raised on Long Island. He attended Columbia College and the University of Manchester, England where he received his Ph.D. He has taught at Winston-Salem State College, The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Sonoma State University (SSU). He moved to California in 1975 and began to teach in the English department at SSU in 1981. From 1988 to 2012 he was the chair of the communication studies department at SSU, where he taught media law, reporting and media marketing. He is now a professor emeritus. As a Fulbright Professor, he taught American literature at the University of Antwerp and the University of Ghent. From 1985-2005 he was the book critic for The Santa Rosa Press Democrat. He reviews books for The San Francisco Chronicle and writes for the Rag Blog and Swans. He is the author of fourteen books, including most recently James McGrath: in A Class By Himself, Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War, and Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating and Drinking Wine in California. He has published six poetry chapbooks among them Rock ‘n’ Roll Women: Portraits of a Generation.