Green Festival Speakers

Jim Hightower



National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the forthcoming book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and justplainfolks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.

Hightower is a modernday Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

He broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 150 commercial and public stations, on the web, on Armed Forces Radio, and on Radio for Peace International. He also does a weekly video blog that is carried on many popular websites.

Each month, he publishes a populist political newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown , which now has more than 135,000 subscribers and is the fastest growing political publication in America. The hardhitting Lowdown has received both the Alternative Press Award and the Independent Press Association Award for best national newsletter.

A popular public speaker who is fiery and funny, he is a populist road warrior who delivers more than 100 speeches a year to all kinds of groups.

His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Hightower's latest book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, will be published March 10, and prepublication reviews on Amazon.com have already rated it 4 stars (out of 5). He is a New York Times bestselling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They've Stolen Our Country And It's Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There's Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.

Hightower frequently appears on television and radio programs, bringing a hardhitting populist viewpoint that rarely gets into the mass media. In addition, he works closely with the alternative media, and in all of his work he keeps his everready Texas humor up front, practicing the credo of an old Yugoslavian proverb: You can fight the gods and still have fun.

Hightower was raised in Denison, Texas, in a family of small business people, tenant farmers, and working folks. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he worked in Washington as legislative aide to Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas; he then cofounded the Agribusiness Accountability Project, a public interest project that focused on corporate power in the food economy; and he was national coordinator of the 1976 Fred Harris for President campaign. Hightower then returned to his home state, where he became editor of the feisty biweekly, The Texas Observer. He served as director of the Texas Consumer Association before running for statewide office and being elected to two terms as Texas Agriculture Commissioner (19831991).

During the 90's, Hightower became known as America's most popular populist, developing his radio commentaries, hosting two radio talk shows, writing books, launching his newsletter, giving fiery speeches coast to coast, and otherwise speaking out for the American majority that's being locked out economically and politically by the elites.

As political columnist Molly Ivins said, If Will Rogers and Mother Jones had a baby, Jim Hightower would be that rambunctious child mad as hell, with a sense of humor.