More About the Author
Chip Jacobs is a Los Angeles-area author and journalist. Any questions so far? Good.
His most recent book is "The People's Republic of Chemicals" (Viveo/Rare Bird Books) with William J. Kelly, a spirited examination of China's U.S.-enabled descent into arguably the most polluted society in recorded history, and how its carbon gluttony may push climate change to a heat-scorching point of no return. In early reviews, it's earned a starred review from Booklist, a five-heart rating from Foreword Reviews and great critique from Kirkus. Critics have tabbed it "outstanding," "sharp, vivid ... a surprisingly enjoyable read, "a scathing denunciation"
Prior to that Jacobs released the "The Vicodin Thieves: Biopysing L.A.'s Grifters, Gloryhounds and Goliaths" (Viveo/Rare Bird Book), a collection of 29 of Jacobs' best narrative, investigative and opinion journalism previously published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Daily News of Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly and other outlets. It won first place in the compilations/anthology category at the Southern California Book Festival.
The true-crime thriller with a dark-comedy tincture, The Ascension of Jerry: Murder, Hitmen and the Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman, (Viveo/Rare Bird Books) was Jacobs' third book. Critics have called the story of an everyman's stumble into a murder triangle filled with hapless assasins "terrific," "pitch-perfect" and "enthralling." Foreword magazine made it a staff pick and the Hollywood Book Festival awarded it a silver metal in the non-fiction category. It also found the winner's circle at the 2013 Southern California Book Festival.
Preceding Ascension, Jacobs co-authored Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (The Overlook Press/Penguin Group USA) with William J. Kelly. The Independent Book Publishers (IPPY) Awards and Green Book Festival honored this social history with silver medals, and the city of Santa Monica bestowed it with the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. Booklist magazine, which gave Smogtown a starred review, named it one of the best environmental books of 2008. The Los Angeles Times/Tribune syndicate called the work "sexy," Publishers Weekly crowned it "powerful" and "accessible," with others tabbing it "meticulous," "highly engaging" and "provocative and zany." It was an official pick of Los Angeles magazine, among other publications, and is now available in both Mandarin and English for readers in China.
Jacobs literary debut was a biography of Gordon Zahler, a a Hollywood dreamer-schemer who lived outrageously in a ticking time-bomb of a body. Rare Bird Books will be publishing a revised and updated version of this story sometime in 2015. Critics praised the first version as a "brilliant and uplifting" story told with "dramatic flair and detached fairness." Please check back for updates, because the upcoming iteration will be killer. Besides these books, Jacobs' popular profile of former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre is included in the academic anthology Voices of the U.S.-Latino Experience (Greenwood Publications).
Chip is currently at work on a historical novel, as well as a few other projects to which he has been sworn to secrecy. If you enjoy his books, please consider reviewing them here at his official Amazon Author Page, at Goodreads and recommending them to friends.
Before turning to book-writing, Jacobs was a print reporter whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, the Daily News of Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly, the New York Times, CNN, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg Views, among other outlets. For his efforts, he's been honored by the Los Angeles Press Club, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and The Los Angeles Times. Visit www.chipjacobs.com to learn more.
Jacobs grew up in northeast Pasadena. In 1985, he graduated from the University of Southern California with BAs in journalism and international relations. In 1988, he graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C. with an MA in international relations, emphasizing national security issues. He is the recipient of numerous academic honors. Jacobs broke into journalism in 1990 at The Los Angeles Business Journal. His passions today include Trojan football, the Beatles, electric guitar, forgotten literature, running and super-sugary breakfast cereals. He lives in Southern California with his wife, a USC public relations professor, and their two children.