Publisher: AK Press
Released: August 31, 2010
Jack Wilson is a scrappy city journalist bouncing from one alt weekly to the next, trying to eek out a living in the midst of the economic crisis and play role model to his college-aged son. A chance encounter with a faded Wanted poster in a San Diego library sends Jack deep into the wilds of California's hidden history, in search of outlaw revolutionary Bobby Flash. As Jack tracks Flash through the I.W.W. Free Speech Fights, the Magonista Revolt, and the first red scare, he uncovers the real story of a forgotten revolutionary world—and learns something about the importance of family in the process.
"Flash is about the search for a usable past in a time and place where, as in Orson Welles's Touch of Evil, the future has been all used up—or gentrified. Miller's historical sense is rich and particular, showing a Pynchonesque flair for secret history, and a comparable tenderness for the lost lineages and resilient utopianism of the permanent left."—David Reid, editor of Sex, Death, and God in LA
"If Howard Zinn had written a novel about the I.W.W. in border country during the Mexican revolution, one that was also a family saga and a mystery revealing the secret history of the twentieth century, it would read like Flash, which deals in the rarest of commodities: hope for our future."—Forrest Hylton, author of Evil Hour in Colombia
Jim Miller is the author of Flash and Drift, both novels. He is also co-author of the radical history of San Diego, Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See (with Mike Davis and Kelly Mayhew) and a cultural studies book on working class sports fandom, Better to Reign in Hell: Inside the Raiders Fan Empire (with Kelly Mayhew). Miller is also the editor of Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana and Democracy in Education; Education for Democracy: An Oral History of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1931. He has published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in a wide range of journals and other publications. Currently he teaches English and Labor Studies at San Diego City College. As a young man, Miller was a bouncer, a factory worker, a warehouseman, and a laborer in his late father's home repair business. A proud union member, Miller does political action work for his local. He lives in downtown San Diego with his wife, Kelly Mayhew, and their son, Walt.