Transforming Lives: A Socially Responsible Guide to the Magic of Writing and Researching

Transforming Lives book cover

Author Ken Wachsberger has been called the dean of I-Search teachers. After reading Ken Macrorie’s groundbreaking essay, Searching Writing, which introduced Macrorie’s theories on the I-Search approach, Ken did his own I-Search paper on how to teach the I-Search paper. His evolving efforts have awakened the passion and transformed the lives of writers of all ages ever since. Transforming Lives has been described as “the anti-textbook.” It is the first guide for teaching Macrorie’s I-Search paper.

“Finishing your manuscript, I feel grateful that this book has been written at last. It is wonderfully personal and anecdotal in the spirit of Ken Macrorie and the I-Search. It assumes the goal of life-long literacy, so that research is completely natural and self-fulfilling. It pays attention to the process more than comparable books that introduce formal inquiry. It even addresses the fears students bring with them to college. This is a valuable book…. I gained a lot of respect for your teaching from reading this book. You have a gift for modeling difficult processes, and that is what makes this book an important contribution.”

— Bill Tucker, professor, English Department, Eastern Michigan University

“The book gets better and better each time I turn a page (the second time around)…. It is so student friendly. Everything is explained ‘clearly’ (as opposed to many texts that explain but not ‘clearly’). The interview? I wish I had the time to tell you everything…. Bottom line? Your book is my new textbook for the fall semester and beyond.”

— Margaret Green, instructor, Washtenaw Community College

“Having arranged several writing workshops with Ken Wachsberger …, in which he provided a liberating, sequential, and engaging approach to writing that captivated the minds and hearts of high school teachers, I am convinced of the I-Search process’ value as another developmental pathway to academic, technical, and professional writing competency.”

— Joyce Moore, former Director of Curriculum for High School English for Detroit Public School

Voices from the Underground: Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press

The landmark four-volume collection of histories of Vietnam era underground newspapers as written by the key people who made them happen. Compiled and edited by Ken Wachsberger. Includes papers representing the gay, lesbian, feminist, Black, Native American, Puerto Rican, military, Southern consciousness, psychedelic, New Age, rank-and-file, and other alternative voices of the period.

“…comes closer than anything I’ve yet read to putting the sights, sounds, and texture of the ‘60s on paper.”

— Gerald Nicosia, Los Angeles Times

“…the most important book on American journalism published in my lifetime.” 

— Fred Little, In These Times

“Let me say from the start that this is the most thorough and comprehensive book in print about the underground newspapers of the 1960s.” 

— Jonah Raskin, The Rag Blog

Never Be Afraid: A Belgian Jew in the French Resistance

The heroic story of Bernard Mednicki, a socialist working-class Jew from Belgium who fled with his family to southern France when the Nazis invaded, posed as a Christian, and became a member of the Maquis, the French underground. While sharing his story with author Ken Wachsberger and answering questions, Bernard was able to break through blocks in his memory and recall the horrific incident he had repressed for forty years. “I am now ready to see my ancestors,” he said.

“moving, profoundly moving”

–Elie Wiesel

“engrossing … wonderful”

–George Cohen, Booklist

Your Partner Has Breast Cancer: 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person on Your Journey from Victim to Survivor

Author Ken Wachsberger recalls, “I doubt that I would have survived my stint as Emily’s primary caretaker when she had breast cancer if I hadn’t written in my journal whenever the mood dictated and shared it with family members.” This book combines “The Cancer Journals” with the twenty-one ways he discovered to stay sane as Emily’s support person. Today, as a member of National Speakers Association, Ken speaks on “Writing for Healing and to Preserve Your Legacy.”

Are you a loved one’s primary caretaker? Men, this is no time to be the strong, silent type. Buy your copy today!

“All I can say is wow! I found this booklet helpful, informative, moving, and clearly a labor of love.”

–Dr. Helen Pass, Director, Division of Breast Surgery, and Co-Director of Women’s Breast Center, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT

“Recommended for public libraries and especially for libraries with strong consumer health collections.”

— Sarah Watstein, Director, Academic User Services, Virginia Commonwealth University

“Ken has in a thoughtful and caring way shared effective ways that worked for him as he was a great husband and father supporting his wife and children in his family’s battle against breast cancer. I am confident that these ways will have a powerful impact in helping all support people, but especially guys who may be struggling, to be loving partners as they battle breast cancer in their families.”

— Marc Heyison, President/Founder, Men Against Breast Cancer

Ken Wachsberger’s Puns and Word Plays for the Job Seeker

Puns and Word Play book cover

Job seeking getting you down? Ken’s friends have been there and they’re here to help. Ken Wachsberger’s Puns and Word Plays for the Job Seeker includes nearly 150 touching testimonials, horror stories, close calls, hard-luck adventures, and words of wisdom from experienced job seekers everywhere. 

“Guaranteed to be the funniest twenty minutes of your day.” 

Sue Katz, Lillian’s Last Affair: And Other Stories

“I chuckled, I groaned and I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful collection of clever and funny puns. With a common theme of work and job seeking it is a masterful work of wit and wordplay. If you are looking for a smart diversion from your regular routine, I recommend spending time with this gem of a collection. Well done and time well spent.”

–Breeda Miller, President, National Speakers Association-Michigan chapter

“[I]deal for our currently troubled times.”

 —Midwest Book Review

Beercans on the Side of the Road: The Story of Henry the Hitchhiker

The seventies’ coming of age, on the road, cult classic adventure of a young college dropout hitchhiker in search of the perfect flow and what it means to be a writer. Author and zen phony Ken Wachsberger is one of the country’s foremost experts on intranational hitchhiking in the seventies.

“America needs this book, just as it once needed Look Homeward Angel and On the Road.”

— Reed Baird, Professor, American Thought and Language, Michigan State University

“So very few people can write with humor, but you obviously can. I know you write and re-write before a section is completed, but you make it seem like you just sat down and wrote it. Your dialogue is funny and you have the ability to observe.”

— Andrea Heiss, Professor of Propaganda Analysis, Iowa State University

“I think Tom Robbins and Richard Brautigan suck. They, no doubt, think I eat it.”

–Cleveland, Ohio, literature professor who also hated Beercans on the Side of the Road


New Encyclopedia of Africa (5 volumes; Scribner, 2008)

voted to Library Journal Best Reference 2008 list: “…richest source of information on the continent”

Tobacco in History and Culture (2 volumes; Scribner, 2005)

honored at New York Public Library’s annual “Best of Reference” celebration, 2006

Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians since 1990 (2 volumes; Schirmer Reference, 2004)

won Popular Culture Association’s Ray and Pat Browne Book Award for best reference for 2003

Encyclopedia of Public Health (4 volumes; Macmillan Reference USA, 2002)

won Choice award for Outstanding Academic Reference Title, 2002

listed in Booklist/Reference Book Bulletin Editor’s Choice of Outstanding Reference Titles

Testimonials from Ken’s book coaching and editing clients here.

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