Back of the Book

Back of the Book is celebrating 34 years on the air!

The format of the program is what is known, at WBAI at least, as “Free Form Live Radio.” Basically, it's whatever Pickles of the North and I think is good radio to put on the air in that one hour time slot. Back of the Book now airs weekly on Saturday mornings at 5:00 AM.

Web page for the November 21, 2020, program.

Web pages for previous Back of the Book programs.


We have a Web stream operating these days. This is the official WBAI Web stream. It's usually working but if it isn't please let me know.

WBAI has managed to lurch toward the current century by providing not only the Web stream of what's on the air at any one time but also an archive. Unfortunately, WBAI's archives are now on a page that doesn't allow easy access to any one program. Quite a step backward from the previous archives page. Here's the current official WBAI archive page of all of WBAI's programs. Currently there is no easy way to go right to the latest Back of the Book program in this version of the archive. You'll need to use the “Display” drop down menu and scroll to Back of the Book. Since WBAI's General Manager has told our pal Sidney Smith that he's banned for life from WBAI, for no stated reason, Sidney's program Saturday Morning With the Radio On isn't in the archives anymore. What is?


Any resemblance between WBAI and anything stable is purely a figment of someone's imagination. As I type this we are more than 20 years past one phase of our big crisis and are currently mired in what may be the end of the following phase of it. Recently, in the mid-Autumn of 2019, WBAI was pirated by now former iED John Vernile and some rogue PNB members. We reversed that underhanded action, but there are still other underhanded plots being hatched in Pacifica. Some years ago the General Manager abusively banned Sidney Smith from WBAI and has refused to say why he's banned him! This ties in with the fact that in 1999, WBAI/Pacifica Management got the NLRB to order the Unpaid Staff out of the Union at WBAI, which also destabilized things. I'm a bit amazed that WBAI and Pacifica have survived for the past 20+ years.


Here are the dates when Back of the Book should air until the end of 2020, according to the WBAI General Manager and interim Program Director. All programs run from 5:00 AM (ET) to 6:00 AM (ET) on WBAI 99.5 FM. The programs are numbered consecutively for the year they're in.

  1. August 8, 2020
  2. August 22, 2020
  3. September 5, 2020 *
  4. September 19, 2020
  5. October 3, 2020
  6. October 17, 2020
  7. October 31, 2020
  8. November 14, 2020
  9. November 21, 2020
  10. November 28, 2020
  11. December 5, 2020
  12. December 12, 2020
  13. December 19, 2020
  14. December 26, 2020

* This was the program on which we celebrated having been on the air for a full 34 years.

We generally talk about our lives and what's going on, and these days since the gag rule has been revoked we get to talk about WBAI issues as well as the scientific and social things that seem important to us and to which we think we can bring a perspective different from what folks generally hear in the mass media.

We love to get mail on Back of the Book. You can reach us through the following means:

Our postal mailing address is:

The USPS Mail Snail

R. Paul Martin
c/o WBAI
388 Atlantic Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Email: R. Paul Martin

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It used to be that I referred visitors to my local WBAI Folio page for details on Back of the Book. Unfortunately, our Folio is no longer being published.


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