Iain Boal is an Irish social historian of technics and the commons, based as an independent scholar in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He is one of the founders of the Retort collective, an association of radical writers, teachers, artists, and activists, which has existed in the Bay Area for the past two decades, with whom he co-authored Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War, along with T.J. Clark, Joseph Matthews and Michael Watts, and published by Verso. He is co-editor of Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information and author of the forthcoming book The Long Theft: Episodes in the History of Enclosure. He is also the editor of Archives of Dissent, to be published by PM Press. He has also just completed a book on the world history of the bicycle.
He is married to the archivist Gillian Boal.