The Writer's Voice of the Billings Family YMCA will present two readings by Livingston writer Alston Chase at 7 p.m. Monday at Rumours Restaurant in Livingston and 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at Cisel Recital Hall at MSU-Billings. The Billings event will be broadcast live on Yellowstone Public Radio. Both events are free and open to the public.
Chase's most recent book is "Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist." From brilliant scholar to serial killer: was Ted Kaczynski mad? Or is he a mirror to our times? On the basis of exhaustive research and much previously unpublished material, Chase presents a radically new interpretation of the infamous Unabomber.
He projects Kaczynski's life against the backdrop of the cold war, when the prospect of nuclear conflict generated on college campuses a fear of technology and a culture of despair. On those same campuses, federal agencies enlisted psychologists in a search for technologies of mind control and encouraged ethically questionable experiments on unwitting students.
Chase's account follows Kaczynski from an unhappy adolescence in Illinois to Harvard University - where Kaczynski absorbed the ideas that would eventually surface in his famous Unabomber Manifesto - to graduate school, and finally to the edge of the wilderness in Montana, where he put his unthinkable plans into action.
Chase is a writer and independent scholar specializing in intellectual history. A frequent contributor to national magazines and a former philosophy professor with degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Princeton, he has lectured at Harvard, Yale and many other universities. His last two books were "Playing God in Yellowstone" and "In a Dark Wood." He lives in Paradise Valley.