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M.W. Jacobs
author of A History of the U. S. in 20 Movies: An All-Movie History Course

My most recent book, A History of the United States in 20 Movies: An All-Movie History Course (2014) (Escallonia Press), is a combination of two life-time obsessions, history and film. I wrote, directed, produced, and edited a low-budget feature film in the early Eighties (available on You Tube as “Twisted Tales from Edgar Allan Poe”). In the late Eighties, I worked for George Lucas' special effects division, Industrial Light and Magic. After that, as a history teacher for nearly twenty years, I searched for the most effective way to teach the subject that polls perennially rank as students' least favorite. The result of that search is A History of the United States in 20 Movies: An All-Movie History Course, available on Amazon now and in bookstores soon.

I also wrote two short story collections set in Sixties San Francisco, San Fran ‘60s (2010) and More San Fran60s (2013) (both Escallonia Press). The structure of these collections of autobiographical fiction is modular; that is, all of the stories in both collections are inter-connected, yet each is self-contained, so they can be read in any order. Also, rather than have an aspect of a larger over-arching story in each short story, I have invested each as much as possible with the whole of that San Fran ‘60s experience. So the whole is in each part.

An old friend said of these stories, “But we all had experiences like that.” “That’s the point,” I replied. “They’re not unique, they’re representative.” I have lived in and around San Francisco since 1965 and present myself, friends, and acquaintances as prime specimens.

In the Sixties and Seventies, I was a freelance journalist and had a book published by Doubleday on American cartoonists that is still available on Amazon, Jumping Up and Down on the Roof, Throwing Bags of Water on People (1980). Earlier this year, my translation of the poetry of the Mexican national poet, Poems, Ramón López Velarde (2014), was jointly published by Berkeley and Floricanto Presses.

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