Blog

The Page 99 Test

The Page 99 Test

Jan 11 2019

At Marshal Zeringue’s invitation, I put Cork Wars to the Page 99 test developed nearly a century ago. As Ford Madox Ford…

Films Introduce Story of Nature, Business and War

Films Introduce Story of Nature, Business and War

Dec 27 2018

In a guest post for the blog of Johns Hopkins University Press, I describe how as a writer, it’s rare to feel…

Advance Copy – Cork Wars and Getting Published

Advance Copy – Cork Wars and Getting Published

Dec 17 2018

Recently the National Association for Science Writers’ book editor Lynne Lamberg asked me to talk about finding the idea for Cork Wars,…

Tracking Cork Oak and World War II History in the West

Tracking Cork Oak and World War II History in the West

Dec 01 2018

This fall I had the honor of speaking to a gathering of hundreds of professional tree people in California about an episode…

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight – Review

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight – Review

Nov 15 2018

Michael Ondaatje’s first book, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, was my first encounter with that sort of metafiction — a…

Rare Earths: When a Natural Resource Becomes a National Security Issue

Rare Earths: When a Natural Resource Becomes a National Security Issue

Oct 26 2018

My post for the Wilson Center‘s New Security Beat explores how rare earths–natural ingredients in our smartphones and other electronics–are now a…

The Unlikely Canvasser: A Story from Three Elections

The Unlikely Canvasser: A Story from Three Elections

Oct 03 2018

I’m the last person you’d want for grassroots action. I’m not organized and I don’t really like meeting new people. Truth is,…

Exposing Murder Rings and McCarthyism: A Deep Dive into FOIA

Exposing Murder Rings and McCarthyism: A Deep Dive into FOIA

Jul 24 2018

One morning last October, a middle-aged man named Francisco Letelier stepped to a microphone in Washington, D.C.’s Sheridan Circle, surrounded by light…

Lessons from World War II on a Refugee Crisis

Lessons from World War II on a Refugee Crisis

Jun 20 2018

Varian Fry, an American journalist, set out for France in the summer of 1940, as that country became the latest to fall…

When the OSS Meant Business for Spies

When the OSS Meant Business for Spies

Mar 30 2018

Last week the Office of Strategic Services, the U.S. intelligence agency during World War II, received the highest Congressional honor. My new…