Quite the World, Isn't It?


Working away on the Detroit project

August 18, 2010

Tags: writing

Well, it's been a busy summer. Left home in late June and won't get back until next week through a combination of research for the Detroit book and some family time back East.

The Detroit book is progressing well, though it's a real challenge to distill such a broad amount of often disjointed history into a compelling narrative. But it's a good challenge to have, believe me. I hope I can do the topic justice.

Meantime, we're just finishing up the copy edits for The Fear Within: Spies, Commies and American Democracy on Trial, which should be out next Spring. I still get a kick out of typing my name into the Library of Congress catalog search engine and having it pop up two books. Great thrill for a writer and history buff to be included in the collection Thomas Jefferson started.

I'm hoping the designers at Rutgers University Press, who did such a wonderful job on the cover for Blood Passion, will have something for me to look at in the next month or two, Once we've settled on the cover, I'll post it here...
The text you type here will appear directly below the image




About me


A third-generation journalist, I was born in Scarborough, Maine, and grew up there and in Wellsville, New York, about two hours south of Buffalo. My first newspaper job came at age 16, writing a high school sports column for the Wellsville Patriot, a weekly (defunct), then covering local news part-time for the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

After attending Fredonia State, where I was editor of The Leader newspaper and news director for WCVF campus radio, I worked in succession for the Jamestown Post-Journal, Rochester Times-Union (defunct), The Detroit News and the Los Angeles Times, where I covered presidential and other political campaigns, books, local news and features, including several Sunday magazine pieces.

An active freelancer, my work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sierra Magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Orange Coast magazine, New York Times Book Review (books in brief), Buffalo News, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Solidarity (United Auto Workers) and elsewhere. I teach or have taught journalism courses at Chapman University and UC Irvine, and speak occasionally at school and college classes about journalism, politics and writing. I've appeared on panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Literary Orange festival, moderated panels at the Nieman Conference in Narrative Journalism and the North American Labor History Conference, among others, and been featured on C-SPAN's Book TV.

I'm also a co-founder of The Journalism Shop, a group of journalists (most fellow former Los Angeles Times staffers) available for freelance assignments.



Blogroll -- an

evolving list of

places I go





    follow me on Twitter




    Some of my
    journalism