Bruce Shapiro, a contributing editor to The Nation, is executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a global resource center and think tank for journalists covering violence, conflict and tragedy.
He has been described as one of the most “sharp and thoughtful” (Washington Post), “perceptive” (Slate) and “nuanced” (Village Voice) analysts on the contemporary American scene.
Shapiro began his career on the fertile journalistic and political terrain of Chicago in the 1970s, where he was a founding editor of the radical magazine Haymarket. He was later co-founder and editor of the New Haven Independent, a weekly newspaper devoted to innovative grassroots muckraking. From 1991-1995 Shapiro was director of The Nation Institute’s Supreme Court Watch, a civil liberties watchdog.
Shapiro has written extensively on civil liberties and human rights. For The Nation, Shapiro has reported since 1981 on subjects ranging from the psychopolitics of cults to the privatization of public schools, and dissected national events from the nomination of Clarence Thomas to Bush Administration war crimes.
Shapiro is co-author of Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America’s Future, with Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (New Press), praised by Washington Post Book World for “intellectual clarity” which “might convince even the strongest supporters that the machinery of death has run its course.” His most recent book is Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America (Nation Books), called “vibrant and pertinent” by Columbia Journalism Review.
Since 1994 Shapiro has taught investigative journalism at Yale University. He contributes a weekly report on American politics and culture to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Late Night Live.
A short walk from my home in New Haven stands the farm of that prototypical Connecticut Yankee, Eli Whitney. In 1798 Whitney hit on a bold new scheme: interchangeable parts for muskets.
Not so long ago politicians campaigned by kissing babies. Today, they lock children in jail.