Marc Haefele Commentator, Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp commentator Marc Haefele.
Contact Marc Haefele

Marc Haefele is an arts, politics, and literature commentator for KPCC's Off Ramp.

Haefele was a staff writer for LA Weekly, City News of Los Angeles, and the Morristown (NJ) Record. He has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Daily News, the Boston Review, Nomada de Buenos Aires and many other publications.

He cohosted the KPFK weekday morning drive time show in 1999-2000, and for the subsequent decade was city hall commentator for KPCC.

In the later 60s and early 70s, Haefele worked for Random House, then Doubleday publishers in New York, where his writers included Philip K. Dick, Steven King, Tom Disch, Marge Piercy, Kate Millett and Josephine Saxton. While at LA Weekly, he won the LA Press Club's Best Column award. He has shared Golden Mikes with his KPCC colleagues.

He has an M.A. in history from NYU and Cal State Los Angeles.

Haefele lives in Santa Monica.


Stories by Marc Haefele

Review: Sam Francis made great art through great pain; exhibit at PMCA

“The personal lives of American painters are tragic…and inevitable. And do not explain the artist,” said Sam Francis, who was as articulate with words as he was with ink and paint. But often, the work itself does.

PHOTOS: On the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, Marc Haefele recalls F. Hopkinson Smith

100 years ago, Smith was a major American writer. Two of his novels were #1 bestsellers. Several were made into movies. Now no one knows the name ... watch out there, Steven King.

Redefining LA's city commissions to improve citizen involvement

Shane Goldsmith believes the system can become a critical tool to broaden the franchise of representation in a city whose voter turnout has sagged to 16% in the last election,

Native son Marc Haefele on the tragedy of Detroit bankruptcy

"Nearly 2 million people lived there then. Three times the number that live there now, in a city that declared bankruptcy 67 years after my father, a pioneer in White Flight, moved us to the suburbs."

'Bob and Ray, Keener than Most Persons,' by David Pollock

No one figured out exactly why they were so funny. Pollock says they only tried to please one another, and calls their partnership a “fortuitous intersection of serendipity and happenstance.”

Marc Haefele reviews the Autry museum on its 25th birthday

The result, however, is more mixed than melded. The superb sometimes sits by the silly, the colossal next to the kitsch. The imagined West next to the real thing. From which it is not always clearly distinguished.

Marc Haefele on Richard Matheson: one of America’s greatest genre writers

His stories seem to have been not so much read, as told to you around the dying embers of campfire on a very dark night.

Book review: Shelley Bennett’s 'The Art of Wealth'

Shelley Bennett's spectacular new quadruple biography takes a look at the family that gave the Southland the Red Car lines and its most venerated museum.

Marc Haefele on the Santa Monica shootings and John Zawahri's gun

The other gun he had, the 1860 .44 Army revolver, looked exactly like the weapon that had been stolen from my old home, years ago. It almost certainly wasn’t my old Colt, but if it were, and he had he killed someone with it…

Influential sci-fi writer, last of a generation, Jack Vance, 96

Jack Vance, nearly the last of a great generation of American sci-fi and fantasy writers, died May 26 in his Oakland home. He wrote so many books that their exact number seems uncertain.

Book review: Michael J. Gerhardt's "The Forgotten Presidents"

This is a surprisingly singular study of the U.S. Presidents who somehow didn't make it into the common history of our nation.

Commentary: getting skeptical about LACMA's new redesign plan

What is wrong with the old museum?

A charioteer statue at the Getty Villa shows Greece wasn't just Athens, Sparta, and Corinth

Historians used to think of Athens, Sparta, and Corinth as the real thing, and their Italian colonies as backwaters of little importance. Now, they believe some of the highest advancements of Greek art (and even science) were happening not in the great Attic cities but on Greek civilization’s westernmost fringes. Like Sicily.

PHOTOS: Mazda's diesel race car - 4-doors, high torque, not smelly

The car didn’t finish in its first big race this year—possibly because it had just been delivered the week before. It finished second in its next two races. This mixed showing reflects its singular, developing technology: it’s probably the only diesel race car on the American auto racing scene today.

Where is Argentina's thank-you to Margaret Thatcher?

Had the late British PM Margaret Thatcher followed the advice of some of her advisors, and left the Falkland Islands to the Argentines, who knows how much longer the junta would have survived.