Joshua Melville is the author of five books, including Confessions of a Record Producer and Million Dollar Mistakes, under the pseudonym Moses Avalon. His titles have become recommended reading in over 50 music business programs, including the music and entertainment law programs at UCLA, Loyola, NYU, Harvard, and Loyola Law Schools. He lives in Los Angeles, California.


American Time Bomb: Attica, Sam Melville, and a Son’s Search for Answers tells the true story of a successful engineer turned bomber during the country’s biggest period of social unrest in modern history, likewise uncovering its parallels for today’s generation. 

Part history and part memoir, the story takes the reader inside the mind of radical Sam Melville, who pulled off dozens of bombings in the summer of 1969. Sam Melville’s resistance work was so dangerous to the government of New York that he was killed as a part of an assassination plot during the infamous Attica Uprising.

All of this unfolds before author Joshua Melville’s eyes after he discovers, in the 1980s, that his father wasn’t a successful engineer but a renowned political bomber of the 1960s. This book follows Joshua’s journey to uncover what motivated his father and what happened in his life and his final legacy, becoming transformed through the process of reading his father’s prison letters. 

Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood in the Water, described Melville’s book as “essential reading for any American.”


  • A deeper understanding of our country’s history of racially biased incarceration and violent social activism; What has changed in the last 50 years?
  • How he found the motivation to write this book after so many years, explaining his father’s legacy, for better or worse.
  • Millennials and Gen Zers are more politically active than ever. What can they learn from Sam Melville’s story about activism? 
  • We are experiencing an exact analogue of the political polarization of the Nixon era. If we look at the past, we can see that today’s escalated violence and force patterns are predictable. Josh can talk about what motivates radicals and the fallout of their activities on society and their families.
  • How does an average hard-working American become radicalized to the point of violence? Josh is uniquely positioned to opine on how politics and media can turn a respected professional engineer and family man into a homegrown terrorist. 
  • 50th anniversary of Attica- The events that played out at Attica and how are these events similar to what we are seeing today regarding social justice and the need for radical change?