Books

“Surmountable” Book on Global Citizen Movements in Editing

After 2019 visits to scenes of historic protests on four continents, and interviews with legendary activists and thought leaders, the “Surmountable” book has a first draft and is being edited by long-time collaborator Dr. Nicholas De Bonis. Scenes and stories from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Maidan independence square in Kiev, Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park, Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square, and interviews with Occupy/ Adbuster’s Kalle Lasn, Columbia University scholar Todd Gitlin, AEI’s Norm Ornstein, CATO’s Paul Matzko, C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb, the War Resisters League, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Rainey Reitman, historian Stephen Schlesinger, and many more. How do we engage effectively in the modern world and what stories might be gathered to inspire new generations of citizens to manifest the vision of the United States Constitution and its democratic ideals? Thanks to our more than 80 Kickstarter supporters who funded the worldwide travel to make the project happen. Co-author Adam Edwards and I will keep project supporters abreast of our progress as we move to publication , and of our plans for publicity and distribution.

“Full Moon over Koh Phangan” Interviews in Progress

Koh Phangan is Thailand’s magic island, with a rich history and a host of odd, extraordinary characters. “Full Moon over Koh Phanganwill be the first-ever full-length nonfiction work documenting the early days of westerner migration to the island, and the people and events which make it an essential destination on the purpose-driven traveler circuit. Interviews are in progress (25 are complete) with resort and healing centre proprietors, restaurant owners, Thai monks and community leaders, real estate and business entrepreneurs, and those present from the early days pre-dating the legendary Full Moon Party. What to do, what to see, who to meet, why to visit will be explored in unique form, collecting oral histories from those with intimate perspectives on the one-of-a-kind experience that is life on the island. Publication of a sneak preview ebook due in late 2020, with an expanded paperback version slotted for 2021.

Six Days at Ronnie Scott’s: Billy Cobham on Jazz Fusion and the Act of Creation

Few musicians have transformed a genre like Panama-born, New York-raised Billy Cobham. "Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: Billy Cobham on Jazz Fusion and the Act of Creation" is a one-of-a-kind oral history of a legend’s life work. From his early days with Horace Silver and Dreams to the epochal Bitches Brew sessions with Miles Davis to the breakthrough Mahavishnu Orchestra and beyond, here is a first-ever deep dive into six decades of musical innovation. The book’s setting is six days at iconic London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s, as Britain’s hottest arranger Guy Barker orchestrates and leads a big band performing Cobham’s greatest works. Jazz greats such as Ron Carter, Randy Brecker, and Jan Hammer, family members, club owners, critics and superfans provide colorful insights and remembrances. Readers are given an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look into rehearsals, performances, adjustments and preparations between shows, and the evolution of a sold-out six-day run.

WAR: The Afterparty: A Global Walkabout Through a Half Century of U.S. Military Interventions

"WAR: The Afterparty" is a round-the-world tour of countries invaded by, overthrown, intervened in by American military forces in the last half century. In Southeast Asia, the Greater Middle East, the Balkans and Central America, author Brian Gruber records oral histories from political and religious leaders, writers, teachers, mothers and combatants who witnessed history from the other end of the gun barrel. Do we accomplish in war the outcomes promised by governments? After the party is over, what are war’s real effects? This is the story of the Afterparty, in the words of those uniquely able to make an assessment.

Dauphin, Dorian and Dead: The Year Without a Net

"Dauphin, Dorian and Dead" is a tragicomic romp through four continents that answers the question: can two twice- divorced baby boomers find love in the modern world? Peter meets Monica through an elite dating agency, initiating an adventurous life of globetrotting romance. The book tracks the ascent and descent of midlife romance, documenting the relationship in a year-long shared blog. What do we expect of love at midlife, when it’s not about procreation or finance, and how do we sustain it?

Reviews and Testimonials

Six Days at Ronnie Scott's:  "The mark of a good read is something that conjures up pictures and just in that description, you're already putting yourself backstage and seeing these conversations happen... an absolutely fascinating read. Any fan is obviously going to enjoy this." - Nigel Williams, Jazz FM, the UK's "home of jazz, soul, and blues."
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: "Questions are knowledgeable and penetrating... rather than dallying in the kind of film-flam that obfuscates the detail, memories and opinions that make a biography breathe... Fast paced with anecdotes pouring from every page, it wraps with Cobham describing his dream line-up to play with. Want to know who? Then go grab a copy." - Jon Newey, editor-in-chief of Jazzwise (The UK's best-selling monthly jazz magazine) 
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: “I invented a single new word in honor of your book: ‘Unputdownable.’” - Bill Bruford, legendary Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Earthworks drummer
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: "The book is a massive undertaking... a remarkable feat of music journalism. The interviews with Cobham cover a galaxy of subjects... any serious student of Jazz, Fusion or music history will reap a bountiful harvest... Hats off to Brian Gruber who accomplished what few could have, with such elaborate authority." - Tee Watts, Cadence Jazz Magazine
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: “… an unusual and welcome addition to the jazz bibliography… Gruber paints a fascinating sonic and emotional picture… Gruber is a strong interviewer, and his affection for Cobham’s music seems to have given him exceptional and unusually fruitful access to players in Cobham’s world… packed with illuminating anecdotes and commentary… broadly engaging… (a) vibrant and organic project. - Downbeat, Carlo Wolff
WAR: The Afterparty: “This is unlike any geopolitical tome you’ll ever read. Instead of a dry, scholarly recounting of history, Brian Gruber takes us along on a movable feast across continents . . . equipped with little more than curiosity and frequently dependent on the kindness of strangers, he nonetheless manages to yield remarkable insight from his hosts and new acquaintances — a mark of a skilled inquisitor. What results is a casual, non-linear tour de force.” - Steven L. Herman, White House correspondent, Voice of America
WAR: The Afterparty: “Joining the army, according to an old proverb, gives you the chance to ‘travel the world, meet interesting people and kill them.’ In this book, Brian Gruber travels the world, meets extremely interesting people, and instead of killing them, tries to understand them. His book cuts through layers of propaganda and helps us see the world’s problems–and ourselves–through the eyes of others.” - Stephen Kinzer, author, former New York Times bureau chief
WAR: The Afterparty: “So, I must say, Gruber did a great job. In his book, he gives voice to people worldwide one never would imagine ever talking to. In this way, the insight is genuine and fresh, even if you’re talking of events decades past . . . Gruber had a great idea and carried it amazingly well to the end.” - Paolo Salom, Corriere della Sera, Italy's most read daily newspaper
WAR: The Afterparty: “Brian Gruber has gone against the group think . . . a worthy look at these countries and the American interventions, long after the passions of the day have faded.” - James Brooke, editor in chief of the Ukraine Business Journal, former New York Times, Bloomberg bureau chief