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David Beers


David Beers

David Beers was born in 1957 in San Diego, California, where his father was stationed as a Navy pilot. He is the son of Harold S. "Hal" Beers, Jr. and Therese Ann "Terry" Beers. His three siblings, all younger, are Marybeth, Daniel and Maggie.

Until age three, his family lived near Cincinnati, Ohio, where Hal worked as a test engineer for General Electric's jet engine plant. Hal was hired by Lockheed Missiles and Space Division as a satellite test engineer in 1960, prompting a permanent move to San Jose, California. Their neighborhood borders Cupertino and Santa Clara, and is a five minute drive from Apple headquarters.

David attended local Catholic schools from grades 2 through 12, and enrolled in the Jesuit-run Santa Clara University in 1975, graduating in 1979 with a Bachelor's degree in English. At SCU he met his future wife, Deirdre Kelly.

After graduation, through a Catholic agency, he taught in inner-city San Francisco schools for one year, then made a living for the next few years as a free lance photographer, graphic designer, public relations writer, and journalist.

In the early 1980s he was published in the San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Examiner, and other papers, his first-hand coverage ranging from Silicon Valley workplace trends to the plight of Guatemala's Maya refugees to the U.S. invasion of Grenada.

In 1984, he became an Associate Editor at Pacific News Service in San Francisco, where his duties included reporting, assigning and editing wire copy for newspapers. He considers PNS Executive Editor Sandy Close, a recent recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, a key mentor.

From 1987 to 1988 he was Senior Editor and then managing editor of Image, as the Sunday magazine of the San Francisco Examiner was then called.

From 1988 to 1991 he was senior editor at Mother Jones magazine in San Francisco. He has written free lance for various magazines since that time.

Over the years his pieces have appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Mother Jones, Vogue, Working Woman, California, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and many newspapers.

"The Crash of Blue Sky California," the Harper's essay that was the genesis of Blue Sky Dream, received a National Magazine Award for best essay in 1993.

"We're No Angels," his essay about Vancouver, British Columbia, as a post-modern fantasy city, was a Canadian National Magazine Award finalist in 1994.

He lives in downtown Vancouver with Deirdre, who is a professor of education at the University of British Columbia. They have a daughter, Nora, born on the summer solstice in 1995.

David Beers

Books by David Beers

by David Beers

"Sputnik was my lucky star," writes David Beers, a telegraphic way of saying that for his family, and for millions like them, the Cold War space race assured a comfortable existence in a sunny subdivision, with all the neatly trimmed lawns surrounding modern tract houses and a shiny new patriotic mythology created to sustain the new, technocratic middle class at the dawn of the 1960s. His father built space weapons in secret for Lockheed. His mother constructed Catholicism in a brand new home. His school and church and television set all assured that he belonged to a chosen people, a "blue sky tribe" showing the rest of America the way to the future.