I write books, essays, and articles on history, medicine, science, and crime. In addition to my newest book The Lost Brothers (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press in October 2019), I have written The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines, and The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness. My articles have appeared in The Atlantic, GQ, Wired, Scientific American Mind, Topic, Longreads, The Washington Post Magazine, and many other publications.

Several of my nonfiction stories have been optioned for the screen and stage. If things go right, look for performed versions of my researched tales in the months to come. I frequently give talks and lead workshops on the topics of my books as well as on the craft of nonfiction writing.

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Coming Soon: The Lost Brothers

The dread, the drama, and the hope of a break in one of the country’s oldest active missing-child investigations

This is the story of one of the oldest known active missing-child investigations: the 1951 disappearance of the three Klein brothers in Minneapolis. An intimate portrait of a parent’s worst nightmare and its terrible toll on a family, the book is also a genuine mystery, spinning out suspense at every missed turn or potential lead, along with its hope for resolution.

Preorder The Lost Brothers

Damn History

Subscribe to Jack’s Damn History brief, which covers what's new and great in the writing and reading of popular history.

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Articles & Essays

Jack El-Hai 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.

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Blog Posts

The Short and Wondrous Career of Harry Glicken

When I knew Harry Glicken during the mid-1970s at Venice High School in Los Angeles, I could not imagine my classmate as a history-maker of the future. He was disheveled,...

The U.S. Vice President Who Wrote a Pop Music Hit

Barry Manilow, Van Morrison, the Four Tops, Cass Elliot, Isaac Hayes, Bing Crosby and Nat “King” Cole all owe a lot to a now obscure United States vice president and...

The Black Stork: A physician’s cinematic argument for eugenics

A scene from The Black Stork (1917) This year marks the centennial of one of the most infamous movies of the silent era, which made a case for allowing disabled...

America’s First Pop Psychologist

When Joseph Jastrow died in 1944 at age 80, he was almost a forgotten figure in American psychology and certainly an irrelevant one to many minds. Decades earlier he had...