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

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.

Haefele: LA mayor candidates need to reconsider wastewater recycling

There’s a big question both Los Angeles mayoral candidates have been ignoring. That’s what to do about the city’s shrinking water resources.

PHOTOS: Realism meets Surrealism in Getty Japanese photography exhibit

"Japan's Modern Divide" at the Getty Center introduces to us two major yet unfamiliar artists, and gives us glimpses and panoramas of unusual and unsuspected Japanese inner and outer landscapes.

An Austrian cooking lesson; or "How much is an Esslossel?"

Trying to avoid bland, I ended up more than doubling the proper amount of paprika, resulting in a kind of Danubian vindaloo that had our guests gasping like circus fire eaters working overtime. Do not underestimate those Mitteleuropische seasonings: they can pack all the wallop of Oaxacan chile molido.

Pope Francis, Argentina's Dirty War, and the Straight and Narrow Path

Never having been prone to sticking his head out of the trench, Bergoglio is more likely to be an opponent of change than a change agent. Maybe the best we can hope for is the commitment of the Irish priest reported by novelist Honor Tracy, “to always take the straight and narrow path between right and wrong.”

Marc Haefele reviews Amy Wilentz's 'Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti'

If you want a window into the livid present that opens to the smells, tastes, and feelings of this brave, unbelievably downtrodden country, "Farewell, Fred Voodoo" is the book for you, in which Wilentz shows how choices we’ve made as Americans—as voters, as consumers—have helped create the Haiti of today.

LA County Supervisor Molina finally gets the hospital she asked for

“What’s certain is that if we had built the facility as (originally planned), the extra beds would have cost a whole lot less. That was a bad decision.”

Vermeer's blue lady to leave the Getty for Holland

It's a story just for you, lurking deep in this unique, strange and wonderful little painting. But you've only another month left to see it.

Richard III, slandered by Shakespeare

Off-Ramp commentator Marc Haefele takes a closer look at the last British king to die in battle, now British authorities have positively identified his remains in a Leicester parking lot.

Marc Haefele: Thank You Ed Koch

He did save the city from bankruptcy. He was both the face of New York and in your face, celebrating himself like Walt Whitman on steroids. And now everyone loves him. Now that he's dead.

Marc Haefele goes inside Motivo Engineering

"A cool concept is only 20% of the engineering effort, the other 80% of the effort is in ensuring that the concept translates into something that can be built and assembled."