Tony Horwitz biography

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Tony Horwitz
© Gerrit Fokkema

Tony Horwitz

Tony Horwitz Biography

Tony Horwitz was a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University�s Graduate School of Journalism. He worked for many years as a reporter, first in Indiana and then during a decade overseas in Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, mostly covering wars and conflicts as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. After returning to the U.S., he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and worked as a staff writer for The New Yorker before becoming a full-time author.

Four of his books were national and New York Times bestsellers: A Voyage Long and Strange, Blue Latitudes, Confederates in the Attic, and Baghdad Without A Map. His other work includes Mississippi Wood, a documentary on PBS about Southern loggers; The Devil May Care, a collection of fifty tales about intrepid Americans; and contributions to State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America and The New Gilded Age: The New Yorker Looks at the Culture of Affluence, Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War and Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War.

Horwitz was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a visiting scholar at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. He lived with his wife, author Geraldine Brooks, and their sons, Nathaniel and Bizu, on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, until his sudden death in May 2019 aged 60, while on book tour with for Spying on the South.

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Interview

Tony Horwitz discusses the journeys he took retracing Cook's voyages across the Pacific, how Cook is regarded by native peoples and what his voyages mean to us today.

Blue Latitudes focuses on the voyages of the eighteenth-century navigator James Cook. What drew you to Captain Cook?
Initially, I was drawn more to Cook's voyages than to Cook himself. The man went everywhere: he touched every continent except Antarctica, and he only missed that by a hundred or so miles. In the past, writers have focused on Cook's considerable maritime achievements as a navigator and mapmaker. But to me, the most compelling part of his story is what happened on land: the drama of 'first contact' between Europeans and native peoples. Island after island, Cook and his men stepped off their ship with no idea whether they'd be greeted with embraces or arrows. They knew little or nothing of the cultures they were about to encounter, and islanders knew even less of them. Yet somehow they had to find a way to communicate, trade, and get along -- and remarkably, for the most part they did.

This is an experience we simply can't have today, no matter how far we travel. The only remotely similar experience would be if a spaceship landed in our backyard and aliens stepped out to greet us -- except that Hollywood has prepared us even for that. Cook experienced 'first contact' ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Tony Horwitz at BookBrowse
Spying on the South jacket Midnight Rising jacket Blue Latitudes jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tony Horwitz but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Mark Adams

    Mark Adams

    Mark Adams is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Meet Me in Atlantis and Turn Right at Machu Picchu. A writer for many national magazines, including GQ, Men's Journal, and New York, he lives near New York City with ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Blue Latitudes

    Try:
    Tip of the Iceberg
    by Mark Adams

  • John Balzar

    John Balzar

    John Balzar is Senior Vice President, Communications, of the Humane Society of the United States. He joined the executive staff in 2007 after a 33-year career as a journalist, writer, and adventurer.

    His opinion columns ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Blue Latitudes

    Try:
    Yukon Alone
    by John Balzar

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