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Patrick Radden Keefe (born 1976) is an American writer and investigative journalist.[1] In addition to being the author of three books (Chatter, The Snakehead, and Say Nothing) he has written extensively for many publications including the New Yorker, Slate, and New York Times Magazine. He is a staff writer at the New Yorker.[2]


Keefe grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University.[3] Keefe earned a law degree from Yale Law School, a M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University, and a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. He has received many fellowships including those from the Marshall Scholarship Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. He was a policy adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense between 2010-11.[4]

Keefe has written investigative reports on a broad array of topics and issues during his career. Topics included a conflict over ownership of iron reserves in Guinea, policy complications faced by states legalizing recreatational marijuana, and the capture of Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

Keefe's 2013 story in the New Yorker, titled "A Loaded Gun", on the personal history of mass shooter Amy Bishop received the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing.[1] In addition to winning the National Magazine Award in 2014, he was also nominated for "The Hunt for El Chapo" in 2015[11] and for "Where the Bodies are Buried" in 2016 about a woman that was disappeared in Northern Ireland.[12]


Keefe's The Snakehead reported on Cheng Chui Ping and her Snakehead gang in New York City that operated between 1984 and 2000.[13][14] Keefe described how Ping illegally smuggled immigrants from China into the United States on a massive scale through cargo ships. The book included interviews with several of those immigrants where they describe their lives in the United States. In 2000, Ping was arrested by the United States government and sentenced to 35 years in prison for her part in leading these operations. Janet Maslin of the New York Times described The Snakehead as a "formidably well-researched book that is as much a paean to its author’s industriousness as it is a chronicle of crime."[13]

In Chatter: Dispatches From the Secret World Of Global Eavesdropping, Keefe described how American security agencies, including the National Security Agency, eavesdrop on communications between individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism to determine the likelihood of terrorist attacks occurring in the near future.[15] Keefe describes the electronic intelligence gathering apparatus for detecting this communication, often referred to as "chatter", which he examines in the context of the September 11 attacks. In a review of the book for The New York Times, William Grimes states that "Mr. Keefe writes, crisply and entertainingly, as an interested private citizen rather than an expert."[15]



  • Keefe, Patrick Radden (2005). Chatter : dispatches from the secret world of global eavesdropping. New York: Random House.
  • — (2009). The snakehead : an epic tale of the Chinatown underworld and the American dream. New York: Doubleday.
  • — (2019). Say nothing : a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland. New York: Doubleday.

Essays and reportingEdit

Double Take columns from newyorker.comEdit


  1. ^ a b "Patrick Radden Keefe". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  2. ^ "Patrick Radden Keefe". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  3. ^ "patrick radden keefe | bio". Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  4. ^ "Patrick Radden Keefe : Experts & Staff : The Century Foundation". Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  5. ^ "'Nosferatu,' longform by Patrick Radden Keefe and Derek Jenkins' Mixcloud mixes". Arkansas Times. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  6. ^ "A Loaded Gun". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  7. ^ "Buried Secrets". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  8. ^ "Buzzkill". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  9. ^ "The Hunt for El Chapo". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  10. ^ "Inside the Biggest-Ever Hedge-Fund Scandal". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  11. ^ "National Magazine Awards 2015 Winners Announced | ASME". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  12. ^ "Ellies 2016 Finalists Announced | ASME". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  13. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (2009-08-16). "Patrick Radden Keefe's 'Snakehead': Wave of Immigrants Smuggled From China". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  14. ^ "The Snakehead, by Patrick Radden Keefe". Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  15. ^ a b Grimes, William (2005-03-02). "The New Hows and Whys of Global Eavesdropping". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  16. ^ "The Bank Robber". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  17. ^ "Anthony Bourdain's Moveable Feast". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  18. ^ Online version is titled "The family that built an empire of pain".
  19. ^ Online version is titled "How Mark Burnett resurrected Donald Trump as an icon of American success".