About Peter Richardson






Humanities DepartmentCollege of Liberal and Creative Arts


At SF State Since:



Peter Richardson has written critically acclaimed books about Hunter S. Thompson, the Grateful Dead, Ramparts magazine, and radical author and editor Carey McWilliams. His essays have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, Los Angeles Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary HubCaliforniaGuernica, California History, and many other outlets. A busy book reviewer, he received the National Entertainment Journalism Award for Online Criticism in 2013. 

Since 2006, Richardson has taught courses on California culture at San Francisco State University. He has been interviewed on related topics for documentary films, newspaper and magazine stories, podcasts, and public radio programs in North America and abroad. He also speaks frequently at universities, museums, book festivals, and historical societies. His professional experience includes editorial stints at the University of California Press, PoliPoint Press, the Public Policy Institute of California, and Harper & Row, Publishers. 

In the 1990s, Richardson was an associate professor of English at the University of North Texas, a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Iceland, and an NEH Summer Seminar fellow at Harvard University. He also wrote a textbook on stylistic revision, now in its second edition. Before that, he earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Born and raised in the East Bay, he now lives in Sonoma County.