Marc Pilisuk was born and raised in New York. He graduated from Queens College in 1955, where he met his wife, Phyllis. Prof. Pilisuk earned his PhD in 1961 from the University of Michigan in Clinical and Social Psychology. A Professor Emeritus at the University of California, he currently serves on the faculty at the San Francisco-based Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center where he has taught extensively on conflict resolution, globalization, ecological psychology and sustainability. Prof. Pilisuk's distinguished academic career spans five decades, delving unabashedly into humanitarian topics of peace and violence, social justice, environmental politics, social networks and family caregiving.
Prof. Pilisuk's keen insights and compassion for all people were nurtured in the early 1960s. He credits Anatol Rapoport, his University of Michigan mentor for setting him on the path to develop a series of game simulation experiments in conflict resolution. From there, Dr. Pilisuk turned his attention to power structures, studying the ties connecting powerful people and organizations to the vested interests in maintaining institutions of war. In 1965, he was among the founders of the first Teach-In.
While at Purdue University, Pilisuk worked with Robert Perrucci on his first text book The Triple Revolution which appeared in 1968 with an updated edition three years later. This text focused on technological militarism, the cybernetic revolution and the revolution in Human Rights. Following his letter in the New York Times opposing the Vietnam war, his Dean expressed the concern that although an excellent scholar and teacher, the young Prof. Pilisuk did not fit into the long range plans of the School. The young professor agreed, and moved on to UC Berkeley in 1967 where he taught in Psychology, Social Welfare, Community Mental Health, Peace and Conflict Studies and City and Regional Planning.
Those turbulent times at Berkeley motivated Prof. Pilisuk to merge academic scholarship with student organizing opposing the Vietnam war and seeking social justice. Dr. Pilisuk edited two books about poverty in 1971 and 1973 with wife, Phyllis, and completed another text on International Conflict and Social Policy in 1972.
He joined the faculty of UC Davis in 1977 where he taught for 15 years as Professor of Community Studies and chaired the Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences (renamed the Dept. of Human and Community Development in 1992). His research during this period examined the role that social disconnection plays in both physical and mental disorders. The Healing Web: Social Networks and Human Survival (with Susan Hillier Parks), published in 1986, helped to document the threadbare nature of caring ties in a contemporary self-centered society and the potential for intentional networks of support.
This latest book explores who holds the continuing power, how they operate to retain and to expand that power, and with what violent consequences. It is the author's hope that understanding an often concealed system can be a part of changing it.