Zander Sherman at The Believer:
If it weren’t for the Unabomber, Zerzan probably would have continued to live and write in obscurity. But his ability to express Kaczynski’s ideas to the reading public—and his support, at the ideological level, of what Kaczynski was doing—made Zerzan what Wikipedia might call an “anarcho-celebrity.” After the Times interview ran on the front page and media interest began to build, Zerzan was invited to travel and speak all over the world, even delivering a talk at Stanford, his old alma mater. All the attention came with a downside. At home in Eugene, his house was broken into, and his address book and a pair of sneakers were stolen—for their tread. (Officially, Zerzan was never a suspect in the Unabomber case, but unofficially he appears to have been a person of interest.) After Kaczynski was discovered and dragged, bearded and feral, from the mountains of Montana to Sacramento County, Zerzan sent him a letter of introduction. Kaczynski wrote back, and the two became pen pals. Between 1997 and 1998, Zerzan visited Kaczynski in jail—the only writer allowed to do so. Even after Kaczynski was transferred and the visits stopped, Zerzan and Kaczynski traded letters until the late 2000s. Then, because of an obscure and essentially unprovable academic dispute, their friendship ended.
The debate begins ten thousand years ago, when humans stopped hunting and gathering their food and started farming it. Zerzan says that was our fall—the point where we lost contact with nature. To support his argument, he cites Marshall Sahlins, a highly respected anthropologist and professor emeritus at the University of Chicago.