mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author


I Got Shot in New Orleans

I was attending a “second line” street parade in New Orleans on Mother’s Day when pistol shots rang out just a few feet behind me and the crowd quickly scattered. The shootings sent 20 people to the hospital. I was lucky: I only got shot in the leg, and since the bullet miraculously didn’t hit any arteries, veins, nerves or bone, the doctor decided to leave it in there. Alas, another journalist, Deborah Cotton of the local weekly paper, “The Gambit,” was much more seriously wounded, eventually losing a kidney in surgery. But I refuse to allow this deplorable incident to turn me against the magical, essential city of New Orleans. And, as I argue in this piece for The Nation, you shouldn’t make that mistake either. America needs a New Orleans that works.


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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 Drakeā€”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.