Seth Steinzor was born seven years after the Holocaust, beginning the third generation in America of a Jewish family with a history of atheism, socialism, and labor organizing. He spent his childhood in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York, during the years of the Civil Rights Movement, the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s triumph in the Six Day War, and America’s plunge into degradation in Vietnam. These were the significant events in forming his political consciousness. His parents, craftspeople and teachers, encouraged his creativity, which primarily took the form of considerable verbal precocity.
Graduating from Middlebury College in 1974, Steinzor hung about town for a while. A job with the local Public Defender led him to three years of misery at the University of Maine Law School. Escaping with his Juris Doctor degree in 1979, he did not put it to use until 1990, when he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Vermont, having spent the previous five years investigating employment discrimination claims for the Vermont Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Division. For the next twenty-seven years, he represented the State in various capacities. In the meantime he married, fathered two children, divorced, and wrote most of In Dante's Wake. He retired from the Attorney General's Office and from the law in 2017, to a life of writing, woodworking, gardening, music making, and voracious reading.