I’m a writer of books and articles on history, medicine, and science. I am also the publisher of the monthly Damn History brief, a roundup of what’s new and great for readers and writers of popular history. My work has been optioned many times for film, television, and the stage.
My newest book is the historical true-crime investigation The Lost Brothers, published by the University of Minnesota Press, but I am also the author of:
• The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Göring, Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII (PublicAffairs Books, 2013; winner of a Minnesota Book Award)
• Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
• The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness (John Wiley & Sons, 2005; winner of a Minnesota Book Award and the annual book award of the Medical Journalists’ Association of the U.K.)
• Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places (University of Minnesota Press, 2000)
• Numerous privately commissioned biographies and corporate histories
I have contributed hundreds of articles to Smithsonian, The Atlantic, GQ, Topic, Scientific American Mind, Wired, The Saturday Evening Post, The Washington Post Magazine, and many other publications, as well as to magazines of the University of California, the University of Minnesota, Yale University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic, among others.
I grew up in Los Angeles and earned a BA in English from Carleton College and an MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College. I’m a past president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and I served as the board chair of the Loft Literary Center. My awards and honors include the June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Journalism, a Loft McKnight Fellowship in Creative Prose, and research grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Center for Arts Criticism. I live in Minneapolis.