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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

The Different, and Not So Different, Life of a Journalist

I am racing, and when I say racing I really mean that, to finish up a book on the Chile mine disaster and rescue before we leave on our family trip to India. This has been a really interesting experience for me. Even though I have written about contemporaries (Bobby Kennedy) and even on person […]

My Last Thoughts on Wikileaks — In the Form of a Story

Many of you know that I’m married to the novelist Marina Budhos, and that our personal stories frame our book on sugar — the first one we’ve written together. Well in a way another story of ours shapes my reactions to the leaks. “How did you two meet” we get asked often enough, as surely […]

Opposite Ends of the Social Studies Spectrum

In my Rutgers class this week we were talking about non fiction books, history, and the elementary school classroom — the same themes we often discuss here. One of my students who is already a teacher reported that several of the second grade teachers were in a funk. The upcoming unit they were expected to […]


I remember the Pentagon Papers — a time when disclosure of government documents revealed key government secrets. The absolutely crucial step that led the revelation of the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO program came when an activist group broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, grabbed documents and published them. The word COINTELPRO happened to be […]