Jerry Mander

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Jerold Irwin "Jerry" Mander (born May 1, 1936)[1] is an American activist and author, best known for his 1977 book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. His most recent book, The Capitalism Papers, is about the momentous and unsolvable environmental and social problem of capitalism.

Life and career[edit]

Mander was born in the Bronx, New York City[2] to Harry and Eva Mander,[3] an immigrant Jewish couple who struggled to achieve success in America:

My parents carried the immigrants' fears. Security was their primary value: all else was secondary. Both of them had escaped pogroms in Eastern Europe. My father's career had followed the path familiar to so many New York immigrants. Lower East Side. Scant schooling. Street hustling. Hard work at anything to keep life together. Early marriage. Struggling out of poverty.

Curiously, success came to him during the Depression. He founded what later became Harry Mander and Company, a small service business to the garment industry, manufacturing pipings, waist bands, pocketing and collar canvas.

One of the reasons for my father's success during hard times was World War II. He was beyond draft age and so was free to do a successful trade in servicing the manufacture of military uniforms. After the war, the business grew in new directions as the economy spurted forward into an era of rapid growth.[4]

At an early age, Jerry Mander moved with his family from the Bronx to a semi-rural area of Yonkers, New York.[5] He grew up there, and says: "I was a golf star throughout my youth and that was what I wanted to be, a professional golfer when I was very young." [6]

Mander earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, then an M.S. in International Economics from Columbia University’s Business School.[7]

After receiving his M.S., Mander worked in advertising for 15 years, including five as partner and president of Freeman, Mander & Gossage in San Francisco. Mander worked with the noted environmentalist, David Brower, managing the Sierra Club's advertising campaigns to prevent the construction of dams in the Grand Canyon, to establish Redwood National Park, and to stop the U.S. Supersonic Transport (SST) project. In 1971 he founded the first non-profit advertising agency in the United States, Public Interest Communications.

Mander served as the executive director of the International Forum on Globalization, which he founded in 1994, until 2009 and continues on its staff as a Distinguished Fellow. He is also the program director for Megatechnology and Globalization at the Foundation for Deep Ecology.

One commentator has classified some of Mander's work as "neo-Luddite".[8]

In 2007 Jerry Mander appeared in the full-length documentary film, What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire.

In an interview with Nancho.net's W. David Kubiak,[9] Mander describes how he got into advertising and how he turned it to the service of social causes:

Well, I wasn't a rebel when I got into advertising. I became a rebel through advertising. It was by being in advertising and realizing what advertising does in the system. I mean I can't explain why I, unlike other advertising men, saw that as a big problem. But I became involved using those techniques to help, you know, environmental groups and anti-war groups and civil rights groups, using advertising as a technique to help them. Advertising and also public relations work. So using that medium is what awoke me in many ways to the power of the medium and the power to use it in the reverse, against the system as well. Although the main problem is that those who are in power have so much more power and more money than those who are trying to resist it. And so we're always up against a heavy ratio, and the fact the opposite side has more power than we do.

In 1965, Mander married feminist author Anica Vesel Mander (b. 1934, d. 2002-06-19). They had two sons, Kai Maxim Mander and Yari David Mander. Although the Manders divorced in 1982, they remained close friends for the rest of Anica's life. Jerry Mander has lived in Bolinas, California since 1977.[10]

Bibliography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mander, Jerry (1991). In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations. San Francisco, California: Sierra Club Books. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-87156-509-9. "I was born in 1936. At that time there were no jet planes and commercial plane traffic was effectively non-existent." 
  2. ^ Amazonas, Lee (2006-12-22). "Jerry Mander Oral History Interview". San Francisco Film Society. Retrieved 2010-11-22. "I was born in the Bronx. I grew up in Yonkers, New York." 
  3. ^ Mander, Jerry (1978) [First copyright 1977]. Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. New York, New York: HarperCollins. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-688-08274-1. 
  4. ^ Mander, Jerry (1978) [First copyright 1977]. Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. New York, New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-688-08274-1. 
  5. ^ Shakra, Quin Aaron (2008-06-30). "Scattered (disorganized?) thoughts about technology". WordPress.com. Archived from the original on 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-11-24. "Having moved from the Bronx to Yonkers, New York, at an early age, Mander describes the destruction of wild nature and the arrival of apartment buildings and the New York Thruway." 
  6. ^ Goodman, Amy; Shiva, Vandana (2001-06-29). "Jerry Mander and Vandana Shiva with Amy Goodman". Santa Fe, New Mexico: Lannan Foundation. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-12-03. "I was a golf star throughout my youth and that was what I wanted to be, a professional golfer when I was very young." 
  7. ^ Arnold, Ron (2002-08-26). "Jerry Mander". Bellevue, Washington: Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Archived from the original on 2010-11-26. Retrieved 2010-12-03. "He holds a masters degree from Columbia University’s Business School in International Economics." 
  8. ^ Brissett, Dennis; Edgley, Charles, eds. (2005). "Dramaturgy and Political Mystification". Life As Theater: A Dramaturgical Sourcebook. Transaction Publishers. p. 409. ISBN 9780202367118. Retrieved 2013-12-29. "An excellent example of a neo-Luddite critique of political mystification is Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1978)." 
  9. ^ W. David Kubiak. "Nancho Consults Jerry Mander". Archived from the original on 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2010-11-09. "I became involved using those techniques to help, you know, environmental groups and anti-war groups and civil rights groups, using advertising as a technique to help them." 
  10. ^ Asimov, Nanette (2002-06-22). "Anica Vesel Mander-- feminist author and New College professor". San Francisco Chronicle (Frank J. Vega). Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-09. "In 1965, she married Jerry Mander, who was to become a prominent Bay Area radical. They had two sons, Kai and Yari. Although the Manders divorced in 1982, they remained close friends" 

External links[edit]