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Jonathan Fast (born April 13, 1948) is an American author and social work teacher.

Life and career

Fast was born in New York City. He attended Princeton University, and earned graduate degrees at Columbia University and Yeshiva University. He has a daughter (Molly Jong-Fast from his first marriage to author Erica Jong and two sons from his marriage to Barbara Fast, a Unitarian minister.

Fast currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Westerly, Rhode Island, and teaches research at[1] the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University.

His father, Howard Fast (1914-2003), was the author of many best-selling novels, including Spartacus (1951), which became the basis for the 1960 film of the same name. Howard was a member of the American Communist Party, and he served a three-month prison sentence in 1950 for Contempt of Congress. While growing up in a literary milieu influenced Jonathan toward a career as a writer, a liberal political climate laid the groundwork for his interest in social work.

Jonathan Fast began writing science fiction and then broadened out into other genres. Of his eight novels, the most successful, from both a commercial and literary perspective, is the historical novel, The Golden Fire, an account of two brothers who battle to be king, set in India during the Gupta Empire (ca. 300 CE).

Fast seems to have given up writing fiction but frequently publishes scholarly articles in the field of Social Work, concentrating in the area of school safety, violence, and school rampage shootings (e.g., the Columbine High School massacre) and the use of technology in teaching.[citation needed]


  • Science fiction
    • The Secrets of Synchronicity (1977)
    • Mortal Gods (1978)
    • The Inner Circle (1979)
    • "Prisoner of the Planets" (1980)
    • The Beast (1981)
  • Other fiction
    • The Golden Fire (1986)
    • The Jade Stalk (1988)
    • Stolen Time (1990)
  • Adaptations
    • Newsies (1992)
  • Non-fiction
    • Ceremonial Violence: The Psychological Explanation for School Rampage Shooting (2008)