Writings that penetrate the social myths that impede our lives.

Writings that portray

a more democratic and humane society.

Writer: John L. Hodge, J.D., Ph.D.
      • Ph.D., Philosophy, Yale University
      • J.D. , University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (“Berkeley Law”)
      • A.B., Mathematics, University of Kansas
John L. Hodge is a writer of nonfiction, a retired health care lawyer, and a former university professor of philosophy.
He writes to help pave the way towards a more just society. He exposes historical and social falsehoods and myths that not only block this path but also impede and distort our personal lives. He provides an ethical framework that guides us based on facts, analysis, and reasoning.
See "Publications" below to learn more about the author's writings
Former Health Care Lawyer
For over twenty years he worked as a lawyer in the Massachusetts state agency that provides Medicaid and other health care benefits to low-income residents–benefits called “MassHealth.” For most of these years he was a consistent part of the teams that have developed and made MassHealth one of the key components of health care reform, reform that has successfully made Massachusetts a national leader in greatly reducing the percentage of people who do not have health care coverage. Many key features of health care reform in Massachusetts are incorporated in national legislation designed to bring universal health care to the nation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010). He retired from this position in 2011 to devote more time to writing.
Prior to joining the health agency, he was a law clerk for the Massachusetts Appeals Court (1982-83) and a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1983-85). He also was a staff attorney for the Vermont Department of Public Service (1991-93).
Former Philosophy Professor Focused on Social Awareness
Before becoming a lawyer, he taught for over ten years in colleges and universities in the Seattle area and the San Francisco area. He was a tenured professor in the Philosophy Department at California State University, East Bay. His courses were forums on social awareness. They connected historically significant philosophical and ethical issues to contemporary social and political events, and included courses in human rights, social ethics, racial conflict, gender discrimination, and practical logic. During this time he was active in the statewide faculty union and was a member and chair of the union’s affirmative action committee. He had to fight for tenure by initiating a lawsuit, but the split faculty ended up supporting his innovative approach.
After getting tenure, he left his position to practice law and to move to New England with his family.
Academic Background
He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University (1968); a J.D from the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (“Berkeley Law”) (1980); and an A.B. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas (1961). At the University of Kansas he was awarded Phi Beta Kappa. He also received a Summerfield Scholarship, a Boeing scholarship, a Hamilton award for best humanities student majoring in a science, and a Danforth Fellowship for graduate study. At Yale, he wrote a Ph.D. dissertation that proposed a non-religious basis for a different form of pacifism that allowed for protective self-defense.


See the author's page at


In the past few years he has published five books: 


In addition, he is the principal co-author of Cultural Bases of Racism and Group Oppression: An Examination of Traditional “Western” Concepts, Values and Institutional Structures Which Support Racism, Sexism and Elitism (Two Riders Press, 1975), a book that has been used as a text and recommended reading in many colleges and universities and has been cited by many authors.
He has written two long essays, incorporated into book chapters, addressing democracy and social change: “Equality: Beyond Dualism and Oppression,” Chapter 6 of Anatomy of Racism, ed. David Theo Goldberg (University of Minnesota Press, 1990); “Democracy and Free Speech: A Normative Theory of Society and Government,” Chapter 5 of The First Amendment Reconsidered, ed. B.F. Chamberlin and C.J. Brown (Longman, 1982).
His legal article reflects his social concerns: “Deadlocked Jury Mistrials, Lesser Included Offenses, and Double Jeopardy,” Criminal Justice Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, Fall, 1986, pp. 9 – 44. 
He has also published political letters in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe.


Read the Writer's Political and Educational Blog on Democracy, Ethics and Human Rights: JohnLHodge.blogspot.com .
Former Peace Activist
While writing his Ph.D. dissertation, he participated in various activities opposing the U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam. For three years (1966 – 69) he was a peace intern and draft counselor for the American Friends Service Committee in its offices in Houston and Seattle. He was granted status as a conscientious objector and, thus, not drafted to fight in a war he opposed. (During that time, the bulk of the U.S. military consisted of involuntarily drafted young males.)


He was born in 1939 in Lawrence, Kansas and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. His grandfather was principal of the former Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. His father, John E. Hodge, was a noted chemist who described a chemical process known as the "Hodge Scheme" which discloses the inner workings of the Maillard Reaction. His mother was also a chemist but died before she could pursue her career. While in high school, he won local and national awards for his science fair exhibits. He has one son, Jascha Franklin-Hodge. The writer's wife, Diane Franklin, is a fiber artist and formerly a consultant for nonprofit organizations. They live in the Boston area and have lived in New England since 1980.