Richard Pollak's published books include After the Barn: A Brother's Memoir; The Creation of Dr. B: A Biography of Bruno Bettelheim; The Colombo Bay, an account of his five-week voyage on that container ship after the 9/11 terror attacks; Up Against Apartheid: The Role and the Plight of the Press in South Africa, and The Episode, a suspense novel that deals with epilepsy. (Click titles at right for details.)
Pollak has also completed a draft of Whit Benjamin's War, a suspense novel set in 1942 that turns on the interaction of 12-year-old Whit with Enrico Fermi, who led the team of scientists that achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction under the stands at the University of Chicago's Stagg Field, a breakthrough that led to the atomic bomb. In addition, Pollak is now completing You're Only Old Once, an Odyssey, about a ten-month global adventure during which he and his wife visited twelve foreign countries (including those exotic lands California and Brooklyn) and slept in twenty-nine different beds. (For more on this book, and Whit Benjamin's War, click on the titles above.)
Over more than two decades, Pollak served as literary editor, executive editor or contributing editor of The Nation. He has written for that weekly, and for Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, and other major magazines. He also co-founded and edited [More], the monthly journalism review that published in the 1970s. The magazine is the subject of Provoking the Press (2019), a book by Kevin Lerner saluting the publication and charting its impact on U.S. media. Pollak was an associate editor at Newsweek, a political reporter at The Evening Sun in Baltimore, and a Poynter Fellow at Yale University, where he created and taught a course on “The Politics of Journalism,” which he also taught for several years at New York University. Since he and his wife, the pianist Diane Walsh, moved to Maine in 2014, he has taught a course on the life and work of Stephen Sondheim, at the University of Maine.