Antiwar Activist Reese Erlich Dead at 73

Longtime antiwar activist Reese Erlich passed away on April 6 after a long battle with cancer. He was 73.

Reese was most recently a bi-weekly columnist at a number of publications, including Antiwar.com. He wrote his last column two weeks ago saying goodbye to his friends and readers.

I met Reese in 1980 when we worked together in the Bay Area Mobilization Against Militarism and the Draft.

Reese was arrested in 1969 as part of the “Oakland Seven,” for organizing anti-draft demonstrations. His arrest and trial (resulting in his acquittal) are the subject of a documentary,
Movement on Trial: The Oakland Seven.

Reese worked as a staff writer and research editor for Ramparts, a national investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco. His magazine articles appeared in Vanity Fair online, San Francisco Magazine, California Monthly, Mother Jones, The Progressive, The Nation, and AARP’s Segunda Juventud.

Erlich’s book Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You, co-authored with Norman Solomon, became a best seller in 2003. His book The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis was published in October 2007 with a foreword by Robert Scheer. In a San Francisco Chronicle book review, Ruth Rosen wrote, “Some people are treated as pariahs when they tell the truth; later, history lauds them for their courage and convictions. Reese Erlich is one of those truth tellers.”

Reese also published Dateline Havana: The Real Story of US Policy and the Future of Cuba in 2009, Inside Syria: the Backstory of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect in 2014, and The Iran Agenda Today: the Real Story from Inside Iran and What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy in 2018.

Reese worked with Walter Cronkite on four public radio documentaries. Cronkite has written, “Reese Erlich is a great radio producer and a great friend.”

His passing is a great loss to the antiwar movement. He will be missed.