What do I do these days? Most mornings, I struggle with a novel, the germ of which is my encounter, at age eight, with Enrico Fermi on the faculty club tennis courts of the University of Chicago. Unbeknowst to me, and pretty much everyone else, he was leading the race to create the world's first controlled nuclear chain reaction, a breakthrough he achieved that year (1942) that led to the creation of the atomic bomb.
What I've done, besides writing the books at left, is serve over some two decades as literary editor, executive editor, or contributing editor of The Nation. I have written for that weekly, and for Harper's, The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, and other magazines. I 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. (Thank you, Kevin!)
Before [More], I was an associate editor at Newsweek, a political reporter at The Evening Sun in Baltimore, and a Poynter Fellow at Yale University, where I taught a course on "The Politics of Journalism," which I also taught for several years at New York University.
I have not won a Pulitzer Prize, but I do have a certificate (framed) from the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, attesting to my "meritorious service [as a patrol boy] in a humanitarian movement to reduce injury and death to children."