James Atlas

Author of numerous books, magazine staff editor and writer, involved in many publishing projects

James Atlas appears in sessions on these topics


Harvard College, 1971 magna cum laude

Oxford 1971-73 (Rhodes Scholar)


Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet (1977; nominated for a National Book Award)

The Great Pretender (1986)

Battle of the Books: The Curriculum Debate in America (1992)

Bellow: A Biography (2000)

My Life in the Middle Ages: a Survivor's Tale (2006)

The Shadow in the Garden: a Biographer's Tale (forthcoming in 2016)

How They See Us: Meditations on America (editor; 2009)

Editorial and staff positions:

Time (staff writer, 1977-78)

New York Times Book Review (assistant editor, 1979-81)

The Atlantic (staff writer, 1982-85)

Vanity Fair (staff writer, 1985-87)

New York Times Magazine (story editor, 1987-97)

The New Yorker (staff writer, 1997-99)

Publishing projects:

The Penguin Lives (brief biographies by Larry McMurtry, Garry Wills, Jane Smiley, Edmund White, Nigel Nicolson, Mary Gordon, Peter Gay, Jonathan Spence, Elizabeth Hardwick and others)

Eminent Lives (brief biographies by Edmund Morris, Francine Prose, Bill Bryson, Christopher Hitchens and others)

Great Discoveries (biographies of scientific figures by William Vollmann, David Foster Wallace, Sherwin Nuland, Michio Kaku and others)

Icons (Karen Armstrong on St. Paul, Jay Parini on Jesus, Michael Wood on Hitchcock, Thomas Beller on J.D. Salinger, Julian Bell on van Gogh, Anne Heller on Hannah Arendt)

James Atlas