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War, Peace, and Pacifica

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In 2002, I wrote about a day of special programming to raise funds to pay for the preservation of Pacifica Radio Archives. Today (Tuesday, December 6th), there is another fund drive and the goal is to raise $185,000. There will be lots of special programming on the five Pacifica stations and online. There are also some good premiums.

The core of the programming comes from the discovery over the summer of recording of a four and half day marathon reading of War and Peace in 1970 on WBAI in New York City. Among the people who read were Richard Avedon, Ann Bancroft, Theodore Bikel, Geraldine Brooks, Mel Brooks, William F. Buckley, Jr., Neal Conan (who then worked for WBAI staff), Bob Foss (an interview he did with Dylan is featured in No Direction Home), Joseph Heller, Buck Henry, Abbie Hoffman, Dustin Hoffman, Stacy Keach, Mitch Miller (as in sing along with), Tom Paxton, Tony Randall, Pete Seeger, Alexandra Tolstoy (daughter of Leo), Rip Torn, Dalton Trumbo, and Fay Wray.

A four hour documentary is airing in parts throughout the day which includes new readings. A $3,000 contribution gets you all 80 CDs of the original 1970 event plus the new documentary. For $300 you get the documentary and four hours of the best readings. It, and all of the other programming, is being archived. An excerpt from it was also aired on Democracy Now this morning.

There will also be live performances this evening by Michelle Shocked and Rickie Lee Jones along with performances from the archives by Miriam Makeba, Bob Dylan, Odetta, Pete Seeger, and others.

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