Bill Berkowitz

 Bill Berkowitz has been tracking and monitoring conservative political and social movements in the United States for the past twenty-five-plus years. In 1977,  after working as an organizer with for the United Farmworkers of America (UFW), and as the first Promotion Director for the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), he helped found the DataCenter, a research library and information center for social activists and investigative journalists located in Oakland, California.Born and raised in New York City, Berkowitz holds a degree in English from the University of Kansas, located in Lawrence, Kansas. During the Vietnam War he co-founded Reconstruction (later named Vortex), the first alternative newspaper in Kansas.During his twenty-four years at the DataCenter Berkowitz focused on religious and secular right wing movements and U.S. military involvement in Latin America and the Middle East, helping put together a series of Press Profiles (collections of the “best of the press”) on such topics as the Reagan Administration’s policies in Central America, the Right-to-Know, and the growth of the New Right in the U.S. During the Persian Gulf War he edited a three-volume series of Persian Gulf Readers.In 1994, Berkowitz became founding editor of DataCenter’s CultureWatch newsletter, which was one of the first national publications systematically tracking the conservative movement from the mid-1990s through the 2000 presidential election.Shortly after leaving the DataCenter in 2000, he was the author of “Prospecting Among the Poor: Welfare Privatization,” an examination of the results of the Clinton Administration’s Welfare Reform legislation.Over the past seven years, Berkowitz has written more than 600 articles and columns for such venues as Z Magazine, Inter Press Service, Media Transparency, Talk2Action, Dissident Voice, Working Assets’ WorkingForChange, In These Times, The Progressive, The Nation and others.He has also appeared on a number of radio programs.In 2005, Berkowitz was given the Journalism Award by the Before Columbus Foundation. In his introduction to the award, playwright and author Ishmael Reed described him as “the Paul Revere of the American left whose job has been to get the left out of Starbucks and self-realization retreats and to awaken progressives, liberals, and everybody-to-the-left-of-center to the personalities and institutions behind what might be the most dangerous drift toward Fascism in our country’s history.”

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