computer and research papers on a desk

Journalism is the first rough draft of history, Alan Barth declared. Or is it the reverse, that history is just journalism, as Joseph Campbell mischievously asserted? Either way, there’s much in common between writing journalism and chronicling history, and I’ve spent my career exploring the overlap of those two great disciplines.  I’m always surprised to…

Read More
poster or "Invasion of the Leopard Frogs"

My new Discover Magazine article about the massive Oconto frog invasion of 1952 is currently behind a paywall, but here’s a teaser. References (3) References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article. Response: Coaching em Curitibaby Quantika Coaching at Quantika Coaching on December 5, 2018Consultoria Coaching em…

Read More
chicago police car

When the police shoot unarmed citizens, we can’t help asking about the judgment, communication abilities, and emotional health of the involved law enforcement officers. Would other people in uniform have handled these volatile situations without loss of life? How well are police officers screened to ensure that they are psychologically suitable for their very difficult…

Read More

Geneticists have long argued about the effects of having an extra male chromosome, a condition found in 1 of 1,000 men A battered paperback entitled The XYY Man, by Kenneth Royce, leans in a corner of my bookshelf. It’s a spy novel that chronicles the adventures of “Spider” Scott, an ex-felon who wants to become law-abiding, but…

Read More

Few people know that the first suicide bombing in U.S. history — and perhaps only the second such attack in world history — took place in New York City 110 years before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I recently wrote about that first U.S. bombing in an article titled “The Bomb in the Bag” for…

Read More
Dr. Douglas M. Kelley before the start of World War II

Decades after a U.S. Army psychiatrist who studied the Nazis predicted a threat to American democracy, we should remember his fears when we vote. Psychiatrist and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Douglas M. Kelley returned home in 1946 after spending six months studying the most loathsome of the captured German leaders after World War II. I…

Read More
A nineteenth-century Szechuan hermit

How do you track down a bunch of hermits to interview? I recently needed an answer to that question when an editor at The Saturday Evening Post asked me to write an article about the lives of contemporary hermits. I agreed to give it a try if my story could focus on people with spiritual motivations for finding…

Read More
The Nazi and the Psychiatrist book cover

My recent release The Nazi and the Psychiatrist won the Minnesota Book Award in the general nonfiction category at the 26th annual awards ceremony on April 5, 2014. The event, organized by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, brought together 960 lovers of books and literature.   I salute my fellow finalists — James Dawes, author…

Read More
The portrait that Göring signed to Kelley

My book The Nazi and the Psychiatrist has just been published. It had strange beginnings. When one dead man passes you a tip about another, you pay attention. Years ago, while researching my book The Lobotomist about Walter Freeman, the psychiatrist and neurologist who pioneered lobotomy for mentally ill patients, I read the late Dr. Freeman’s writings on a…

Read More