Jon Ronson, 2017
Jon Ronson is a Welsh journalist, author, documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, and radio presenter whose works include the best-selling The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004) and The Psychopath Test (2011). He has been described as a gonzo journalist and is known for his informal but skeptical investigations of controversial fringe politics and science. He has published nine books and his work has appeared in British publications such as The Guardian, City Life, and Time Out. He has made several BBC Television documentary films and two documentary series for Channel 4. His book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, served as the College’s 2017 Summer Reading Selection.
Claudia Rankine, 2016
Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category.
Héctor Tobar, 2015
Héctor Tobar is a Los Angeles born author and journalist. His fourth book entitled Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in October 2014. It recounts the collective story of the miners who were trapped for an unprecedented 69 days in 2010. The book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Sonia Nazario, 2014
Sonia Nazario has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about social issues. Her stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems including hunger, drug addiction, and immigration. Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, Enrique’s Journey puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States.
Andrew Keen, 2013
Andrew Keen is one of the world’s leading thinkers about our digital future. He is the author of the international hit The Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is Killing our Culture, which has been published in 17 different languages and was short-listed for the 2008 Higham’s Business Technology Book of the Year award. Andrew’s latest book about the social media revolution, Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing and Disorienting Us, (Macmillan/ May 2012) has already been acclaimed around the world as a brilliant critique of Facebook, Twitter, and today’s Web 3.0 revolution.
Benjamin Nugent, 2012
“Benjamin Nugent is the author of American Nerd, a cultural history of the nerd mixed with memoir (Scribner, 2008), and Good Kids, a novel (Scribner, coming in January, 2013). Born in Massachusetts in 1977, he was educated at Reed College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His essays have appeared in The New York Times Op/Ed page, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. Director of Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, he teaches in its MFA and undergraduate programs.”
James Loewen, 2011
James “Jim” Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. Previously he taught at predominantly black Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He now lives in Washington, D.C., continuing his research on how Americans remember their past. Lies across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong came out in 1999. The Gustavus Myers Foundation named his book, Sundown Towns, a “Distinguished Book of 2005.” In 2010, Teachers College Press brought out Teaching What Really Happened, intended to give K-12 teachers (and prospective teachers) solutions to the problems pointed out in Loewen’s earlier works.
David Walton, 2010
Dr. David Walton earned his BA from Augustana College in 1998 and his MD from Harvard Medical School in 2003. Dr. Walton is currently an associate physician and hospitalist in the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He divides his time between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Hôpital de Lascahobas in Haiti, where he serves as the associate director of the hospital. In Haiti, he works extensively with Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health, whose mission is “to provide a preferential option for the poor in healthcare.”
Jeffrey Zaslow, 2009
Jeffrey Zaslow is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and co-author of the current international bestseller The Last Lecture. His column, “Moving On,” focuses on life transitions and often attracts wide media interest. That was certainly the case in September 2007, after Zaslow attended the final lecture of the late Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch. Zaslow’s column about the talk sparked a worldwide phenomenon. Tens of millions of people have since viewed footage of the lecture on the Internet and on television.
Natalie Angier, 2008
Natalia Angier was born in New York in 1958. She attended the University of Michigan for two years and then transferred to Barnard College in New York. In The Canon, Angier draws on conversations with hundreds of the world’s top scientists, and her own work as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, to create a thoroughly entertaining guide to scientific literacy. It is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the great issues of our time— from stem cells and bird flu to evolution and global warming.
Ishamel Beah, 2007
In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah, now twenty-six years old, tells a riveting story. At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he had been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. Eventually released by the army and sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center, he struggled to regain his humanity and to reenter the world of civilians, who viewed him with fear and suspicion. This is, at last, a story of redemption and hope.
Eric Schlosser, 2006
Eric Schlosser has been investigating the fast food industry for years. In 1998, his two-part article on the subject in Rolling Stone generated more mail than any other item the magazine had run in years. In addition to writing for Rolling Stone, Schlosser has contributed to The New Yorker and has been a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly since 1996. He won a National Magazine Award for “Reefer Madness” and “Marijuana and the Law” and has received a Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Reporting. His
work has been nominated for several other National Magazine Awards and for the Loeb Award for business journalism.
Azar Nafisi, 2005
Azar Nafisi is best-known as the author of the national bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which electrified its readers with a compassionate and often harrowing portrait of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her students. Earning high acclaim and an enthusiastic readership, Reading Lolita in Tehran is an insightful exploration of the persuasive and transformative powers of fiction in a world of tyranny. The book has spent over 70 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list to date.