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Articles & Essays

Jack has written more than 500 articles and essays for The Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, Wired, American Heritage, The History Channel Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, and many other publications.

Read his articles and essays here.

Jack El-Hai's Books
  • The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
    The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
  • Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines
    Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines
  • Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places
    Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places
  • The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
    The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII
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Talks, presentations, and media appearances

Forthcoming speaking appearances and presentations:

March 9, 2016: Presentation for Arts and Humanities Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. 

March 10, 2016: Book Night presentation, Knight Science Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 

May 11, 2016, 7 p.m.: Talk on The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, Perham Area Public Library, Perham, Minn. Free and open to the public.

 

Presentations for a variety of groups

An experienced teacher and speaker, Jack El-Hai has led courses and workshops at the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic, the Split Rock Arts Program, the Loft Literary Center, and elsewhere.  He has taught nonfiction writing and literature, entrepreneurial journalism, and the techniques of biographical and popular historical writing to a variety of audiences. He currently teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Augsburg College.

Book talks

Jack has lectured on his book topics — the rise and fall of lobotomy, the psychiatric appraisal of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, and the turbulent history of Northwest Airlines — at the University of Minnesota, University of Iowa, the Mayo Clinic, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, the University of Mississippi, Carleton College, the Library of Virginia, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of Maryland, the University of Toronto, Cornell University, the Nathan Kline Psychiatric Institute, and many other venues.

Other talks and presentations

Jack often presents and leads workshops for a vareity of groups — marketing agencies, businesses, MFA programs, medical organizations, academic departments (including departments of psychiatry, psychology, journalism, and medical humanities), writers organizations and conferences, and Holocaust and genocide study centers.

A sampling of his topics include:

• How to write biography

• How to write about history for general readers

• How to write about medicine and science for general readers

• Writing corporate histories

• Effective and striking use of the narrative voice

• Writing in scenes

• Ethics challenges in writing about medicine and science

• Developing nonfiction characters in historical, medical, and scientific writing

• The Evil I's: How Three Seductive Words Can Harm Your Writing

 

Jack El-Hai in the media

Jack is also a skilled media guest, having appeared on CNN’s Now with Paula Zahn, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Talk of the Nation, and The Diane Rehm Show; the BBC’s All in the Mind; Australian Broadcasting’s The Science Show; Twin Cities Public Television's Lost Twin Cities 4; and numerous other programs. He is featured in the History Channel's Nazis: Ultimate Evil; the BBC Four television documentary Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery / Into the Brain and in the PBS American Experience documentary The Lobotomist:

In 2014, the History Channel aired Nazis: Ultimate Evil, a program in which I gave my thoughts on the strain of evil that the Third Reich carried:

Jack recently spent time with a C-SPAN BookTV crew and discussed his book The Nazi and the Psychiatrist. Here is part of that interview:

 Hear Jack talk about the risks of intense historical research in the Story Collider podcast: