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Laurence Bergreen (born February 4, 1950) is an American historian and author.
|Born||February 4, 1950|
|Notable works||Over the Edge of the World (2003), Capone: The Man and the Era (1994), Irving Berlin (1990)|
After graduating from Harvard University in 1972, Bergreen worked in journalism, academia and broadcasting before publishing his first biography, James Agee: A Life.
Bergreen has written books on historical subjects, such as Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth, a narrative of NASA's exploration of Mars, and Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe. Bergreen's biography, Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, is being developed into a feature film starring Matt Damon.
Bergreen has written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek and Esquire. He has taught at the New School for Social Research and served as Assistant to the President of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. In 1995, he served as a judge for the National Book Awards and in 1991 as a judge for the PEN/Albrand Nonfiction Award. A frequent lecturer at major universities and symposiums, and, on occasion, aboard cruise ships, he has served as a Featured Historian for the History Channel.
In 2007, Bergreen was asked by NASA to name some geological features surrounding the Victoria crater on Mars, based on places Ferdinand Magellan visited. In 2008, Bergreen was a keynote speaker at NASA's 50th anniversary event in Washington, D.C.. His most recent work is Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius.
Bergreen's first book was Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting, published in 1980. His biography, James Agee: A Life, was a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1984. As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, appeared in 1990. It won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award; it was also a New York Times “Notable Book” for 1990.
In 1994, he published Capone: The Man and the Era. A Book-of-the-Month Club selection and a New York Times "Notable Book", it has been optioned by Miramax. In 1997, Bergreen published Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, a biography drawing on unpublished manuscripts and interviews with Armstrong's colleagues and friends. It appeared on the “Best Books of 1997” lists of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Publishers Weekly.
His next work, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, was published in October 2003. A New York Times “Notable Book” for 2003, it is also in development as a motion picture.
In October 2007, Bergreen published Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, a biography of the iconic traveler. Warner Brothers is developing a feature film based on this book starring Matt Damon and written by William Monahan.
His 2011 book is Columbus: The Four Voyages, a New York Times bestseller. It was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, BOMC2, the History Book Club, and the Military Book Club, and was a New York Times Book Review “Editors Choice”.
In May 2017, Roaring Brook Press, a division of Macmillan, published his first Young Adult book, Magellan: Over the Edge of the World, an adaptation of his international bestseller. His most recent adult book is Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius, published by Simon & Schuster in 2016.
- Look Now, Pay Later: The Rise of Network Broadcasting (1980) ISBN 0385144652
- James Agee: A Life (1984) ISBN 0525242538
- As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin (1990) ISBN 0670818747
- Capone: The Man and the Era (1994) ISBN 0684824477
- Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life (1997) ISBN 0767901568
- Voyage to Mars: NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth (2000) ISBN 157322166X
- The Quest for Mars: NASA Scientists and Their Search for Life Beyond Earth (2000) ISBN 0002570300 (hdc) (2001) ISBN 0006531342 (pbk)
- Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (2003) ISBN 006093638X
- Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu (2007) ISBN 1400078806
- Columbus: The Four Voyages (2011) ISBN 014312210X
- Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius (2016) ISBN 1476716498
- Magellan: Over the Edge of the World, Young Adult Edition (2017) ISBN 9781626721203
- "Marco Polo by Laurence Bergreen - Book - eBook - Audiobook". Random House. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Warner Bros. plays 'Polo'". Variety. 2005-05-02. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "About the Author". Laurencebergreen.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "NASA History Home Page". History.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-28.