Nicholas Berthelot Lemann is an American writer and academic, and is the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.[1] He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999.[2] Lemann was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2022.[3]

Nicholas Lemann
Lemann at the 2006 Texas Book Festival
Lemann at the 2006 Texas Book Festival
BornNicholas Berthelot Lemann
EducationMetairie Park Country Day School
Alma materHarvard University (BA)

Early life and education edit

External videos
  "Nicholas Lemann: Growing Up Jewish in the American South", Big Think

Nicholas Lemann was born, raised, and educated in a Jewish family[4] in New Orleans. He describes his family's faith as a "kind of super-Reform Judaism" where there were "no kosher laws, no bar mitzvahs, no tallit, no kippot".[5]

He was educated at Metairie Park Country Day School,[6] a private school in New Orleans, from which he graduated in 1972, followed by Harvard University, where he studied American history and literature, and was president of The Harvard Crimson, where he wrote the Brass Tacks column, and from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1976.[6]

Life and career edit

Lemann began his journalism career as a 17-year-old writer for an alternative weekly, the Vieux Carre Courier, in his home city of New Orleans. In 1975, amid reports of mass murder in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge, Lemann wrote, "I continue to support the Khmer Rouge in its principles and goals but I have to admit that I deplore the way they are going about it."[7] After graduation, he worked at the Washington Monthly, as an associate editor and then managing editor; at Texas Monthly, as an associate editor and then executive editor; at The Washington Post, as a member of the national staff; at The Atlantic Monthly, as national correspondent; and at The New Yorker, as staff writer and then Washington correspondent.

Lemann won the 1980 Raymond Clapper Memorial Award "...for a series of stories outlining the plight of a family on welfare."[8]

On September 1, 2003, Lemann became dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.[9] During Lemann's time as dean, the Journalism School launched and completed its first capital fundraising campaign, added 20 members to its full-time faculty, built a student center, started its first new professional degree program since the 1930s, and launched initiatives in investigative reporting, digital journalism, executive leadership for news organizations, and other areas.[10] He stepped down as dean in 2013, following two five-year terms.[11]

In 2015, Lemann launched Columbia Global Reports, a university-funded publishing imprint that produces four to six ambitious works of journalism and analysis a year, each on a different underreported story in the world.[12] From 2017 to early 2021, he was the director of Columbia World Projects.[13]

Lemann is the author or editor of several books, including Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream (2019), Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (2006); The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy (1999); and The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America (1991), which won several book prizes. He has written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and Slate; worked in documentary television with Blackside, Inc., Frontline, the Discovery Channel, and the BBC; and lectured at many universities.

Lemann serves on the boards of directors of the Authors Guild, the National Academy of Sciences' Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and the Academy of Political Science, and is a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities. He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 2010.[10]

Personal edit

Lemann has been married twice. His first wife was Dominique Alice Browning, who later became an editor in chief of House & Garden. They married on May 20, 1983,[14] have two sons, Alexander and Theodore, and later divorced. His second wife is Judith Anne Shulevitz, a columnist for Slate, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Republic. Married on November 7, 1999,[15] they have a son and a daughter.[16]

Bibliography edit

Books edit

Title Year ISBN Publisher Subject matter Interviews, presentations, and reviews Comments
The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America 1991 ISBN 9780394560045 Knopf Second Great Migration (African American) Booknotes interview with Lemann on Promised Land, May 5, 1991, C-SPAN Winner of the 1992 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction.[17]
The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy 1999 ISBN 9780374299842 Farrar, Straus and Giroux Standardized testing Presentation by Lemann on The Big Test, September 29, 1999, C-SPAN
"None of the Above" Review, by Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times, October 24, 1999.
"BOOKS OF THE TIMES; What's Wrong With the SAT and Its Elite Progeny" Review by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times, October 4, 1999
Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War 2006 ISBN 9780374248550 Farrar, Straus and Giroux Reconstruction era "A Less Perfect Union Review by Sean Wilentz, in The New York Times, September 10, 2006
Audio interview with Lemann on Redemption conducted by Sam Tanenhaus of the New York Times Book Review, September 10, 2006
First chapter of book, on The New York Times site.
After Words interview with Lemann on Redemption, November 11, 2006, C-SPAN
Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream 2019 ISBN 9780374277888 Farrar, Straus and Giroux Economy of the United States "Author Discussion on the History of Modern American Politics and the Economy", featuring Lemann discussing Transaction Man and author Rick Perstein discussing his book Reaganland, September 27, 2020, C-SPAN

Selected essays and reporting edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Nicholas Lemann". Archived from the original on 2015-03-19.
  2. ^ "Nicholas Lemann - The New Yorker". The New Yorker. 2 November 2015.
  3. ^ "The American Philosophical Society Welcomes New Members for 2022".
  4. ^ Nicholas Lemann. "Nicholas Lemann: Growing Up Jewish in the American South - Big Think". Big Think.
  5. ^ Seth Berkman (April 24, 2013). "Nicholas Lemann Talks About Journalism's Hazy Future". Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Metairie Park Country Day — Nicholas Lemann 1972". Metairie Park Country Day School. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  7. ^ Lemann, Nick. "Cambodia and Crimson Politics | News | The Harvard Crimson".
  8. ^ UPI ARCHIVES (April 26, 1981). "The White House Correspondents Association presented the annual Merriman..." United Press International.
  9. ^ Karen W. Arenson (April 16, 2003). "Columbia Names Dean for its Journalism School". The New York Times.
  10. ^ a b Profile Archived 2013-12-11 at the Wayback Machine at Columbia Journalism School.
  11. ^ Haughney, Christine (October 9, 2012). "Lemann to Step Down as Dean of Journalism School at Columbia". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Murtha, Jack (September 22, 2015). "Could a university be the savior longform journalism has been looking for?". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved January 2, 2021. The university-funded publisher aims to produce novella-length narratives, sprinkled with analysis, on underreported stories rooted in globalization...Unlike most traditional book publishers (but like high-end magazines), Columbia Global Reports fact checks, pays writers' expenses, and has a total production time, from signed contract to store shelves, that's measured in months, not years
  13. ^ "Avril Haines Moves From Columbia World Projects to the Center of the World's Stage". Columbia News. Retrieved 2022-01-04.
  14. ^ "Dominique A. Browning Marries Nicholas Lemann". New York Times. 1983-05-21.
  15. ^ "Judith Shulevitz, Nicholas Lemann". New York Times. November 7, 1999.
  16. ^ Anne Stuart (Sep–Oct 2005). "The Press Professor". Harvard Magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-12-01.
  17. ^ "PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction Winners". PEN America. 5 May 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2023.
  18. ^ Online version is titled "The stimulus bill is the most economically liberal legislation in decades".

External links edit