David Remnick

David Remnick

Past Event: Monday, April 19, 2010

At Town Hall Seattle

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Co-Presented by Elliott Bay Book Company.

David Remnick worked as a reporter for The Washington Post for ten years, including four as Moscow correspondent. He joined The New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has edited the magazine since 1998. His last book, King of the World, a best-selling work on the evolution of Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali in the midst of the civil-rights movement, was Time magazine’s top non-fiction book of 1998. Lenin’s Tomb, which covers the fall of the Soviet Union, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

Remnick is also the author of Resurrection and two collections of his New Yorker pieces: The Devil Problem & Other Stories and Reporting.

Remnick’s latest book, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, is a sweeping and deeply reported look at both the life of the 44th President and the complex saga of race in America that led to his historic election. For this biography, Remnick conducted hundreds of on-the-record interviews to write the fullest narrative possible of a sitting President. He relies on conversations with family, friends, teachers, professors, mentors, donors, and rivals of Barack Obama—as well as with the President himself. His sources include not only members of Obama’s team, but also more complicated figures in his story such as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson, and Bill Ayers. The Bridge also includes correspondence by Obama as well as letters written by the most important influence in his life, his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, all published here for the first time. In the Prologue to The Bridge, Obama, who has just announced his candidacy, goes to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to pay homage to the civil-rights generation, the “Moses generation,” and declares himself the leader of the new generation, the “Joshua generation.” Reflecting on the President’s unique place in history, the veteran congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis told Remnick, “Barack Obama is what comes at the end of that bridge in Selma.”

Selected Work

Books
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama (2010)
Reporting: Writings from The New Yorker (2006)
King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero (1998)
Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia (1997)
The Devil Problem: And Other True Stories (1996)
Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (1993)

Books Edited
Fierce Pajamas: An Anthology of Humor Writing from The New Yorker (with Henry Finder, 2001)
Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker (2000)
The New Gilded Age: The New Yorker Looks at the Culture of Affluence (2000)
Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (with Susan Choi, 2000)

Articles
“Talk of the Town: Comment: Homelands,” The New Yorker, January 2009
“The Dreamer,” The New Yorker, January 2002
“The Moralist,” The New Yorker, July 2002
“September 11, 2001,” The New Yorker, September 2001
“Citizen Kay,” The New Yorker, January 1997
“Kid Dynamite Blows Up,” The New Yorker, September 1992

Links
The Guardian: “The quiet American” – Gaby Wood meets David Remnick
Archive of Remnick articles in The New Yorker
Video interviews 
NPR: ‘New Yorker’ Editor Explores Art of ‘Reporting’
Boston Globe interview
Video: Charlie Rose interview

Event Details

Town Hall Seattle