mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author



HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth

For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard investigated climate change for outlets including The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair and The Nation. But the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon after, learned that climate change had arrived a century earlier than forecast, with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Mark’s daughter, Chiara, now six years old, is part of what he has dubbed “Generation Hot”–the two billion young peole worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption. HOT is a father’s cry against climate change, but most of the book focuses on solutions, offering a blueprint for how all of us–as parents, communities, companies and countries–can navigate this unavoidable new era. Combining reporting from… Read more




The Eagle’s Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World

by Mark HertsgaardFarrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 01, 2002 From the publisher Americans rarely used to think about the outside world. As the mightiest nation in history, the United States could do as it pleased. Now Americans have learned the hard way that what outsiders think matters. When terror struck last September 11, author Mark Hertsgaard was completing a trip around the world, gathering perceptions about America from people in fifteen countries. Whether sophisticated business leaders, starry-eyed teenagers, or Islamic fundamentalists, his subjects felt both admiring and uneasy about the United States, enchanted yet bewildered, appalled yet envious. <!–more–> This complex catalogue of impressions—good, bad, but never indifferent—is the departure point for a… Read more


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Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future

Mark Hertsgaard spent most of the 1990s traveling around the world, investigating humanity’s environmental future.  He visited nineteen countries, filing stories for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Time, Mother Jones, and a host of overseas publications to finance his travel.  He concludes Earth Odyssey by proposing a Global Green Deal, an idea that resurfaced twenty years later when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and a new generation of progressive activists championed a Green New Deal to address the twin challenges of climate change and economic inequality. The New York Times Book Review said, “In Earth Odyssey, displays an authentic talent for storytelling…. e has transformed a daunting subject into a stirring contribution to the growing literature on the… Read more



A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles

They are the most popular and accomplished musical artists of this century. But for more than three decades, the secrets behind the Beatles’ unparalleled artistic evolution were beyond reach–sealed in a locked room at London’s Abbey Road Studios. In this comprehensive and brilliantly rendered book the only “outsider” to gain access to these invaluable musical archives provides a new, fascinating look at the music and artistry of the Beatles, revealing how four untrained musicians merged their collective genius into a single creative force, how they came together to paint pictures with sound…and how album by album, the Beatles transformed the landscape of popular music forever. <!–more–> Combining literary analysis and investigative reporting with page-turning… Read more



On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency

ON BENDED KNEE: THE PRESS AND THE REAGAN PRESIDENCY presents a history and an indictment of the relations between Ronald Reagan’s White House and the major U.S. news media. Based on more than 175 interviews with most of the key figures in the White House and the press, the book exposes one of the great scandals of 20th century American politics–how the press, both through government manipulation and voluntary self-censorship, abdicated its responsibility to report on what was really going on during Reagan’s eight years as president. Indeed, as author Mark Hertsgaard reveals, there were many instances of network and press executives at CBS, The New York Times, ABC and elsewhere, stifling their own reporters’ coverage of such stories as Reaganomics, the invasion of Grenada and the… Read more


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Nuclear, Inc.: The Men and Money Behind Nuclear Energy

After a series of nuclear accidents, large and small, the impression has been growing among Americans that the nuclear industry is all but dead. No one, however, has convinced the industry, and in fact nothing at this time could be further from the truth. This book for the first time explains why the industry is alive and kicking, lays bare its intricate financial structure, and investigates the group of men behind it, that intimate brotherhood of corporate and government leaders who, convinced of their own best intentions, are proceeding to sell the earth’s tomorrow for today’s dollar. Mark Hertsgaard spent three years conducting his research in the halls of the industry itself, gaining access to private corporate libraries and once-secret papers, and speaking with industry… 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.