mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


A Green New Deal–Finally!

Now that the idea of a Green New Deal is at last penetrating the political conversation in the US, I’m posting the magazine pieces I wrote twenty years ago in The Nation and Time, proposing a Global Green Deal, an idea described in detail in my book, Earth Odyssey.  Serious climate progress would be politically impossible, I argued, without simultaneously meeting people’s economic needs through a massive public works program that would green our wallets as well as the planet. … Read more


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Tom Steyer’s Argument For Impeaching Trump

Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate change crusader and political donor, argues that the current US president is dangerous, unfit and corrupt–and everyone knows it.  But too many Democrats and progressives are afraid to say so, even though 46 percent of the public wants Trump impeached.  I profiled Steyer’s campaign in The Nation:… Read more

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The Secret Daniel Ellsberg Really Worries About

The man who leaked the Pentagon Papers as a former top government official tells The Nation that it is still US policy to launch a first-strike nuclear attack.  I interview Ellsberg about his new book, The Doomsday Machine:  Confessions Of A Nuclear War Planner.  Read more:… Read more

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How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe

An investigative expose revealing how Big Wireless borrowed the very same PR playbook pioneered by Big Tobacco and Big Oil to lie about the dangers of its products.  Mark Dowie and I unearth smoking gun memos documenting that the industry’s own scientists privately warned CEOs in 1999 of “serious questions” about cell phones and cancer, especially for kids–but the industry told the rest of us there was nothing to worry about…. Read more

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Trump’s Favorite Drug Trafficker … And More

A Nation interview with investigative journalist and author David Cay Johnston, who has covered Trump longer and more closely than virtually any other reporter.  I speak with Johnston about his new book, It’s Even Worse Than You Think:  What The Trump Administration Is Doing To America.  Read more:… Read more

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New York City Vs. Big Oil

Flanked by Nation contributors Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein, mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City was suing ExxonMobil and four other big oil companies for damages caused by climate change.  New York’s pension funds will also divest from fossil fuel holdings, joining investors worldwide representing $6 trillion in assets that will no longer finance companies that drive climate change.  Read more:… Read more

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Latest Book


By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did: leak top secret documents revealing that the US government was spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, the way he did it, you need to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same surveillance ten years before Snowden did and got crushed. The other is The Third Man, a former senior Pentagon official who comes forward in this book for the first time to describe how his superiors repeatedly broke the law to punish Drake—and unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches.

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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.