COMMENTS ON BOOKS
Click here for a website which accesses a series of videos in which I read and discuss my long poem Coming to Jakarta, and also my book of shorter poems, Tilting Point.
To hear my September 2011 reading of my poetry in Longfellow House, Cambridge, click
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Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor
at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer,
and researcher. He was born in Montreal in 1929, the only son of the
F.R. Scott and the painter
Marian Dale Scott. He is married
to the author and psychologist
Ronna Kabatznick; and he has three children,
John Scott, by a previous marriage to the Soto Zen roshi
Maylie [Marshall] Scott. Before teaching as an English Professor at the University of California, he served for four years as a Canadian diplomat, at UN Assemblies and in Warsaw, Poland.
His prose books include The War Conspiracy
(1972), The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (in collaboration,
1976), Crime and Cover-Up: The CIA, the Mafia, and the Dallas-Watergate
Connection (1977), The Iran-Contra Connection (in collaboration,
Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central
America (in collaboration, 1991, 1998),
Deep Politics and
the Death of JFK (1993, 1996), Deep Politics Two
(1994, 1995, 2006),
Drugs Oil and War (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, March 2003),
The Road to 9/11 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press,(2008), American War Machine (2010), and The American Deep State, 2014.
His chief poetry books are the three volumes of his trilogy
Seculum: Coming to Jakarta: A Poem About
Terror (1989), Listening to the Candle: A Poem on Impulse
(1992), and Minding the Darkness: A Poem for the Year 2000. In addition he has published
Crossing Borders: Selected Shorter Poems (1994, published in Canada as Murmur of the Starsi), Mosaic Orpheus (2009), and
Tilting Point (2012).
In November 2002 he was awarded the Lannan Poetry Award.
An anti-war speaker during the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, he
was a co-founder of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at
UC Berkeley, and of the Coalition on Political Assassinations
His poetry has dealt with both his experience and his research,
the latter of which has centered on U.S. covert operations, their
impact on democracy at home and abroad, and their relations to
the John F. Kennedy assassination and the global drug traffic.
The poet-critic Robert Hass has written (Agni, 31/32, p.
335) that "Coming to Jakarta is the most important
political poem to appear in the English language in a very long
If you have any comments or questions, I would be glad to hear from
you at [email protected]
I do believe that international public opinion, when it becomes
powerful enough, will become the most effective restraint to the
excesses and follies of particular governments.
James Laughlin: "Not since Robert Duncan's Groundwork and before that William Carlos Williams Paterson, has New Directions published a long poem as important as Peter Dale Scott's."
John Peck, "Seeing Things as They Are," iNotre Dame Review 31, Winter/Spring 2011, 239-52: "Scott's Seculum is one of the essential long poems of the past half century."
Thom Gunn (cf. TLS, February 1, 1991): "[Peter Dale Scott's work] extends the scope of poetry, reclaiming some of the ground lost since Dryden, lost even since Pound. A rue invention, it should be of interest to all who read poetry."
Robert Hass (Agni, 31/32, p. 335): "Coming to Jakarta is the most important political poem to appear in the English language in a very long time."
Daniel Ellsberg: "I said of Scott's last brilliant take on this subject, Drugs, Oil and War, that 'It makes most academic and journalistic explanations of our past and current interventions read like government propaganda written for children.' Now Scott has written an even better book."
Publishers Weekly, October 2010: *American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan* /Peter Dale Scott, Rowman & Littlefield, $34.95 (408p) ISBN 9780742555945/ In Scott's view, the American military-industrial complex so feared by Eisenhower has grown into a military-industrial-corporate behemoth. This "overclass," often functioning independently from the official elected government, has spearheaded countless actions that it perceives to be in the best interest of perpetuating American hegemony. With exhaustive research and extremely persuasive arguments, Scott (The Road to 9/11) seeks to prove that the funding and motivation behind America's assertion of global supremacy can be traced to drugs. Drug money fueled American actions in Laos and Vietnam during the Cold War, American support of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 80s, and defines American political action in Latin America and present-day Afghanistan. By looking at covert activity and recorded history through the lens of American global dominance, Scott makes a terrifyingly compelling case.
Roger Morris, former NSC staffer: "Peter Dale Scott is one of that tiny and select company of the most brilliantly creative and provocative political-historical writers of the last half century. The Road to 9/11 further secures his distinction as truth-teller and prophet. He shows us here with painful yet hopeful clarity the central issue of our time--America's coming to terms with its behavior in the modern world. As in his past work, Scott's gift is not only recognition and wisdom, but also redemption and rescue we simply cannot do without."--
Prof. Ariane Walter, Le Post, September 11, 2011: "Il n'y a pas de livre d'Histoire plus passionnant, plus riche, plus indispensable, pour comprendre les secrets du 11 septembre, que La route vers le nouveau desordre mondial� de Peter Dale Scott. J'ai decouvert ce livre il y a six mois environ et j'ai aussitot souhaite le faire connaitre mais la difficulte de rendre une telle oeuvre, quasi Proustienne par sa richesse, tant de details, tant d'humanite aussi, m'a bloquee un peu comme un surfeur au moment d'aborder une vague immense. Le resumer c'est un peu le perdre privant le lecteur de son rythme insense de revelations, de ces incursions, comme des plongees, au coeur de l'Etat profond Americain. ...
"There is no book of history more exciting, more rich, more vital, to understand the secrets of September 11 than The road to the new world disorder by Peter Dale Scott" [The Road to 9/11 in French].
Gen. Bernard Norlain, Revue Defense Nationale, March 2011 [in French]: "Here is a book that is fascinating, revealing, one could say terrifying.... This work astonishes by its originality and its power of analysis. It should be a reference work for all the defenders of the legal state and for all those who concern themselves with the future of our democracies." [General Norlain is a retired five-star French general who also served as military adviser to French Prime Ministers Jacques Chirac and Michel Rocard.]
Afrique contemporaine no.236, 2010/4 [in French]: "As long as you have not read this book, your persisting naivete will prevent you from understanding how the world has evolved."