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Wes “Scoop” Nisker

July 18, 2023 @ 6:00 pm

Price: Free (Registration Required)

Wes “Scoop” Nisker discusses The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom: The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation – published by Monkfish Books

Wes “Scoop” Nisker


The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom: The Spiritual Experiments of My Generation

published by Monkfish Books

Join “Scoop” Nisker on a wild ride from West to East and back in his quest for true self and enlightenment. Combining the best elements of memoir and social commentary, Nisker shares his own story to illuminate the spiritual hunger of modern America. His journey begins in Nebraska as the only young man in his small town to be Bar Mitzvah’ed, through the heyday of the Beats and hippies in the Bay Area from his vantage point as a high-profile newscaster, the birth of the environmental movement, and the social and spiritual blossoming of the West. This is a personal, guided tour of the outer and inner movements that joined together into today’s mindfulness movement, written by one of the leaders of both.

Wes (“Scoop”) Nisker, born in 1942, is an author, award-winning broadcast journalist, renowned Buddhist meditation teacher, and performer. The son of Polish Jewish immigrants, Wisker grew up in the only Jewish family in his Midwestern hometown. His three-decades-long broadcasting career began in the late 1960s at San Francisco’s original free-form radio station KSAN, where his popular, unconventional radio features included this traffic report: “People are driving to work to earn the money to pay for the cars they’re driving to work in.” In the 1970s he worked at KFOG, where he coined the catchphrase, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own,” and was nicknamed “Scoop” by Abbie Hoffman while covering the Chicago Seven Trial. Wisker has published five highly acclaimed books, including the enduring classic The Essential Crazy Wisdom, and he is the founding co-editor of the international Theravada Buddhist journal Inquiring Mind. A resident of Oakland, California, he teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County.

Praise for the work of Wes Nisker

“Nisker is the consummate student/teacher, soaking up the world…and trying to make it a better place. Long may he chant.” — Ben Fong-Torres

“Wry, hip, fast, breezy….a tender triumph” — Publishers Weekly

“Mixes engaging autobiography with philosophical musings…Nisker really shines, as he provides wonderful details.” — Kirkus

“A joyful, thoughtful romp of remarkable breadth: science, politics, psychology, pop culture and Buddhist dharma woven into a wise, funny, and truly wonderful journey.” — Jack Kornfield

“A joy to read, Nisker maintains a tightrope walker’s balance between entertainment and information, between irreverence and spirituality, between sit-down meditator and stand-up comic, between personal experience and countercultural history.” — Paul Krassner

“Both entertaining and edifying, Nisker carries us along to bigger and better lives of noble-hearted wisdom and compassion.” — Lama Surya Das

“Vintage Nisker—at times deeply philosophical, often very funny, always personal and yet broadly relevant because, as we used to say, the personal is political.” — Fritjof Capra

“Nisker joins the grand tradition of social historians casting a knowing eye at the absurdities of history, … witty, insightful, soulful.” — Daniel Goleman

“[Nisker] delivers zen zingers with Borscht Belt timing.”— The New York Times

“Here is a worthy companion: a Mark Twain for our times, whose appetite for reality takes him into ashrams, political actions, and evolutionary science. As Wes shares his adventures, he enlarges our own, laces them with laughter, lets wisdom shine through.” — Joanna Macy

“Nisker’s book takes us on a wonderfully engaging journey. It is the best chronicle yet written about the spiritual adventures of our generation.” — Joseph Goldstein

“This is Wes at his best: smart, irreverent, endearing, laugh-out-loud funny, and—in these times when we so badly need it—hopeful.” — Sylvia Boorstein

This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation. To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/



July 18, 2023
6:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
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