Mark Harris (journalist)

Mark Harris (born November 25, 1963)[1] is an American journalist and author. He began his career at Entertainment Weekly, where he started as a columnist and eventually became the magazine's executive editor. His writing has also appeared at Slate and New York magazine.

Mark Harris
November 2014
November 2014
Born (1963-11-25) November 25, 1963 (age 58)
  • Journalist
  • author
Alma materYale University
  • Film
  • popular culture
(m. 2008)

Harris has written three books relating to American film history. His first book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, about changes in Hollywood in the 1960s and the rise of the New Hollywood movement, was published in 2008.[2] His second book, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, examined five American directors who made films for the U.S. military during World War II; it was released in 2014 and later adapted into a 2017 Netflix documentary series of the same name.[3] His third book, Mike Nichols: A Life, a biography about the filmmaker, was published in 2021.[4][5]


After graduating from Yale University in 1985,[6] Harris worked at Entertainment Weekly.[7] He began as a columnist and later became executive editor of the magazine.[8] Since 2008, Harris has written and released three books. His first book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, an examination of how the American film industry changed during the 1960s, was published in February 2008.[2] Writing in The New York Times Book Review, author Jim Shepard called the book "full of pleasures ... He seems to have talked to virtually everyone who’s still around, and to great effect ... Mark Harris's legwork and intelligence transport us gratefully back to that exhilarating moment when it was all still about to occur."[2]

In February 2014, Harris published his second book, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War.[9] The work is an examination of five U.S. film directors—John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, George Stevens—and their frontline work during the World War II.[9] The book was well received, with The New York Times calling it, "a tough-minded, information-packed and irresistibly readable work",[10] and The Washington Post writing that the book "has all the elements of a good movie: fascinating characters, challenges, conflicts and intense action."[9] The trade publication Booklist wrote, "It's hardly news that the movies affect and are affected by the broader canvas of popular culture and world history, but Harris – perhaps more successfully than any other writer, past or present – manages to find in that symbiotic relationship the stuff of great stories," calling the book, "narrative nonfiction that is as gloriously readable as it is unfailingly informative."[11] In 2017, the book was adapted into a three-part Netflix documentary series Five Came Back.[3]

His third book, Mike Nichols: A Life, was published in February 2021 to critical acclaim.[8][4][5]

As of 2021, Harris is a columnist and feature writer for New York magazine.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Harris is married to playwright Tony Kushner. In attendance at the couple's May 2003 commitment ceremony were director George C. Wolfe, playwright Larry Kramer, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, actresses Linda Emond and Kathleen Chalfant, and, The New York Times reported, "dozens of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, many of them crying."[13] Theirs was the first same-sex commitment ceremony to be featured in the Vows column of The New York Times.[14] As of 2017, they live in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts.[15]

In the summer of 2008 (after Massachusetts had legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, but before New York or the U.S. Supreme Court had done so), they were legally married at the city hall in Provincetown.[16]


  • Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. Penguin Press. 2008. ISBN 9781594201523.
  • Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. Penguin Press. 2014. ISBN 9781782112884.
  • Mike Nichols: A Life. Penguin Press. 2021. ISBN 9780399562242.


  1. ^ "Mark Harris". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Jim Shepard, "When Mrs. Robinson Met Dr. Dolittle", The New York Times Book Review, February 17, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Exclusive: See the Trailer for Netflix's New Documentary About World War II and Hollywood". Time. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Tallerico, Brian. "Mike Nichols: A Life is a Must-Read Memoir | Features | Roger Ebert". Roger Ebert. Retrieved July 6, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Wolcott, James (February 2, 2021). "Mike Nichols's Brilliant Career". New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  6. ^ "Truth, art & propaganda: Lessons from Mark Harris's WWII epic for Netflix". Columbia Journalism Review. March 31, 2017. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  7. ^ "Mark Harris". Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Mark Harris takes us inside his new Mike Nichols biography". Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Matthews, Charles (March 14, 2014). "'Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War' by Mark Harris". Washington Post (in American English). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Thomas Doherty, "Cameras Shooting in Battle: Five Auteurs and Their World War II Films Mark Harris's Five Came Back Covers Auteurs in Combat", The New York Times, March 2, 2014.
  11. ^ Bill Ott. "Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War", Booklist, February 15, 2014.
  12. ^ Harris, Mark. "Mark Harris Author Archive". NYMag (in American English). Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  13. ^ Lois Smith Brady, "Vows: Mark Harris and Tony Kushner", The New York Times, May 4, 2003.
  14. ^ McCarter, Jeremy (May 28, 2009). "Tony Kushner's Day: The playwright at the heart of America's cultural moment". Newsweek. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  15. ^ Sokol, Brett (August 21, 2017). "For Tony Kushner, It's Angels Over the Breakfast Nook". Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  16. ^ Stockwell, Anne (October 8, 2012). "Love Stories: Tony Kushner and Mark Harris". Advocate. Retrieved October 12, 2012.

External linksEdit