Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber

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9781944505356: Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber
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In this collection of sardonic and synergistic diatribes, radical teacher and writer Paul Haeder confronts six decades of America’s great slide into the intellectual muck that is today's neoliberal morass. In these literary incantations, the iconoclastic Haeder fights against the trappings of a world gone mad while simultaneously contemplating the missed chances of his own life. Collected over a decade of writing for the radical blog Dissident Voice, the wide range of essays vary in stylistics, shifting voices and points of view, but are all underpinned by Paul’s fearlessness. They come crashing together to spark a rarefied bonfire of truth rising from the ashes of propaganda and doublethink. Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber is a white-water rapid rush, a free-fall into the heart of American darkness. (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)

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About the Author:

Born in LA, weaned in the Azores and placated during his formative years in Paris, Paul Haeder began his career as a journalist in Southern Arizona and as a travel writer in Europe. His is a life lived on the border: both literally in El Paso-Juarez and metaphorically through his own combative style of teaching, writing and activism. Haeder hitchhiked from Nogales to Panama and wrote about the trip, worked in prisons and gang-influenced neighborhoods as a writing and photography instructor, and was a dive master in the Yucatan. From street newspaper writing in Seattle to documenting his biodiversity work in Vietnam for E-Magazine to writing about greenwashing for Planning Magazine, Paul represents a last cry in the wilderness, speaking to and from precarity, poverty and revolutionary zeal. Eclecticism, surrealism and survival are what he brings to the great fire of dying discourses as he fights the insanity Western Culture imposes on us all. (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)



After six years of reading Paul Haeder on Dissident Voice, I can safely say I have never met a more energetic, intelligent, and unflappable writer as Paul Haeder. During the course of our spirited email exchanges, and with unique respect, I nick named Paul, The George Plimpton of Dissent, largely because Paul is a Jack of All Literary Trades, and he puts himself into the moment, into the people's brains and hearts he writes so passionately about. The U.S. suffers under the weight of its elaborate historical & political myth making and dissemination systems, so Haeder has served to help me recognize those who desire to place me on a stretcher of the One Percent's doing are really traitors and true un-Americans. Try reading him ... with no allegiances to the elites and powerful. If you need a house call for quick intellectual triage, pick up a book of Haeder's and dive deep into its layers. At the other end of the journey, you will be baptized in a new wonder of showing no fear, fearing no one.

―Charles Orloski is a working class poet living in Taylor, Pennsylvania, who writes regularly for Dissident Voice, the Hollywood Progressive and other venues (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)


Paul Haeder, who has been a contributor to Dissident Voice going back to 2006, has a passion for truth and is fearless in his pursuit of same. Whether the topic is education, capitalism, Zionism, employment/unemployment, the media, or any of the countless issues that he covers, there is no sugar-coating here. When reading his articles and/or his poetry, it is immediately evident that Paul Haeder does not have a politically correct bone in his body nor is he willing to rent any! A book by Paul will bring reaction from readers, pro and con, but you can bet that it will be a book people will read with interest.

―Angie Tibbs, Dissident Voice, Senior Editor (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)


I viewed Paul’s writing through two lenses: as an editor who had the opportunity to present his ideas, and as a reader seeking a deeper understanding of how a topic applies to life; essentially what every great columnist sets out to do but few achieve. Paul mostly did so without once using the phrase, “This is important! Read this and tell everyone you know!” hoping alert readers will pick this up on their own. Paul possesses the admirable ability to see solutions through the fog of politics and personalities, and he’ll tell us reasonable ways to get there even before the excuses begin.
―Joe Butler, editor, Spokesman Review, editor of Down to Earth, 2008-2014 (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)


I experienced my personal era of critical thinking awakening right after college, mid 2000's, during a time when far too many writers and journalists were co-opted, weak, and otherwise just afraid to ask the questions that mattered or say what needed to be said. Thankfully I quickly discovered Paul Haeder. As a reader of Paul's, and later a subject of a few of his writings, I've always been in awe at the delicate balance of reality and optimism he keeps in a world with many flaws, but also with unique and capable people and solutions. Paul brings out a certain raw, emotional side to his subjects and issues. You never can predict what he is going to ask, and his ability to cut right to the point makes his writing an unpredictable thrill ride to the heart and the truth.
―Bart Mihailovich, environmental writer and advocate (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)


Paul has carved out a unique writing niche for himself, and provides readers with informative, educational and engaging pieces. From the unspoken effects of nuclear waste on generations, to jail-to-jobs reform, poverty’s ingrained damage, the struggles of veterans returning home, and the impact of aging adults in our community, Paul is always looking for a story, and telling it with the skill of a seasoned reporter. Multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, for stories he has written for Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, are not just a feather in Paul’s cap, but in our publications’ as well.

―Blythe J. Thimsen, editor-in-chief of Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living, and author of Spokane’s Stories: 28 Stories of the People, Places and Events That Have Shaped Spokane. (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)


Paul Haeder’s prose channels Henry Miller, Celine and Charles Bukowski all fed through a machine gun. I think musically of Warren Zevon singing “Excitable Boy,” and “Werewolf in London.” Give me the mad ones, Kerouac pleaded, those guys mad for the world and tastes of language. Haeder’s topic is always the world, and Haeder is the filter through which the world has to pass: rhythmic outburst, lyric language, howling at the moon. When other authors have forgotten to be outraged by the outrageous, Haeder has been a North Star who says, “You gotta look at this! You won’t believe...” and fill in here the absurd and unimaginable bullshit of the universe. We need prophets. We need seers. We need Haeders to sing out the injustices and awful thinking of politicians and bureaucrats and bumper-sticker philosophers. Take along Haeder as an escort into any of the myriad underworlds of our times; you will be well guided.

―Michael Strelow, author of Henry, A Novel of Beer and Love in the West; and The Greening of Ben Brown. Kesey is his non-fiction book. Upcoming novel is The Moby-Dick Blues. (Paul Haeder Reimagining Sanity)

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