a memoir


íRISKSí is a story of all the world travels, the moments close to home, the human interactions that allowed Claassen to exist so fully. It is a story of foundation in service and human connection.”

Inside Columbia Magazine (July 2017)

“An inherently fascinating and impressively read from cover to cover. A unique life lived out in unique times, RISKS: a memoir is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and certain to be an enduring popular addition to both community and library Contemporary American Biography collections.”

Midwest Book Review (August 2017)

“The book [RISKS] zeroes in on a particularly formative period in Claassenís life — he identifies a wide season from the late 1960ís through the late 80ís as an unfolding moment, one which catalyzed a number of awakenings. He emerged from that period like a butterfly, his political, spiritual and sexual identities more realized and unified.”

Columbia Daily Tribune (8/13/2017)

“Mr. Claassen invites his readers to join a young social activist on a twenty-year journey through a myriad of places in and out of the U.S. as he develops into a well-traveled social activist and spiritually centered gay man. The author successfully brings the reader into his world view as he shares many experiences in an extraordinarily adventurous life. He not only uses his own memories of these experiences, but also brings in his own journal notes, journalistic, and historical data to support the setting. It felt like a fantastic glimpse into a manís journey during a pivotal time in U.S. history.

As the daughter of former Sandinista soldiers, I found the chapter about the authorís time in Nicaragua particularly interesting. My favorite part of the book is when Mr. Claassen describes seeing a Native American apparition in the middle of a desert highway. What a wonderful and inspiring moment.

The author brings his audience full circle after years of globe-trotting back to the activism which propelled him on the journey in the first place. I recommend this book as a story which is informative and thought provoking, written by a passionate social activist. ”

Araceli Noriega, Reader Views (11/20/2018)