Elaine Elinson


Elaine Elinson's latest book, coauthored with Stan Yogi,
Wherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Strikers, Suffragists Immigrants, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California ,
(Heyday Books in October 2009) won a Gold Medal from the California Book Awards in 2010.

Elinson, a former reporter with Pacific News Service in Southeast Asia, is coauthor of Development Debacle: the World Bank in the Philippines, which was banned by the Marcos regime.

The former editor of the ACLU News, Elinson is now a San Francisco-based editor and communications consultant for a wide range of legal and social justice organizations, including the ACLU, the Equal Justice Society and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. She is a columnist on legal history and a book reviewer for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and teaches classes in media advocacy at major Bay Area law schools.

Elinson has a degree in Asian Studies from Cornell University and an MFA in Writing from Goddard College (2005). She has lived in England, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Central America and speaks Spanish, Russian and Mandarin. She also enjoys conversations – albeit brief – in Tagalog, Cantonese, Portuguese and French.

She has been awarded a writing grant from the California State Library's Civil Liberties Education Project and completed residencies at Hedgebrook, the Anderson Center, Mesa Refuge, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. Her essay on finding solace at the library during a family health crisis was selected by the American Library Association for publication in Woman's Day, March 2009. She was named a Library Laureate by the San Francisco Public Library in April 2010.

Elinson is the author of numerous articles on U.S. foreign policy in Asia and Central America, trade unions, and civil liberties that have been published in The Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, the Daily Journal, Rocky Mountain News, Poets and Writers, Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) and other newspapers and magazines.

She is currently working on a novel set in the Philippines during the Vietnam War.

Selected Works

Magazine Article
A journey to Viet Nam with Veterans for Peace reveals the lasting legacies of war -- Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance.
The famed oceanside baths owned by the Mayor of San Francisco, would not allow Blacks to swim there -- until waiter John Harris challenged the color bar in 1897.
Charlotte Brown defied a color bar on San Francisco street cars while the Civil War was still raging.
What a ride on the city bus can tell you about your fellow passengers – and yourself.
Untold history of working women’s efforts to secure the vote in San Francisco.
Expose of how U.S. investment in the Philippines bolstered the oligarchy and oppressed the poor.