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Home > Author > Jeff Shear
Jeff Shear

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Member Since: Jul, 2010

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  Jeff Shear

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I don't want honors. I want a paycheck.

Background Information

In the late 1970s when I began writing, I aimed at national magazines, because stories were regualrly picked up and optioned by Hollywood. That meant big bucks and possibly a breakthrough, but it never materialized for me. I'm referring to the Tom Wolfe era, when Clay Felker and Gay Talese ruled the writing world. To this day, I believe our best writing appears in magazines, What had once been referred to as the "New Journalism" -- doubtlessly, the most important make-over in American writing since World War Two-- has been gussied up and regurgitated as "Literary Non-fiction." It doesn't matter what you call it, it's still the most powerful writing out there. This, despite the rebirth of the short story. Today, I read The New Yorker (because it is editied by an American genius, David Remnick), New York Magazine (because it is edited by an American genius, Adam Moss), and the Sunday New York Times, especially, the New York Times Book Review. (I wish I had time for the New York Review of Books, which I love for its keen thinking.) This is my Prime Time reading. The rest of my reading is for a digital history for History News Network - All else is purely catch-as-catch-can. I follow media closely, reading Wired, Kevin Kelly, Harold Rheingold, Chris Anderson, Politico, etc. I use Twitter as a source of information; it's my new newspaper. Check out: brainpicker, coolhunting, abooksblog, aldaily, parisreview, bookoven, hastac. I don't read a lot of fiction, although I follow Alan Furst and Steig Larson (overrated). After that, I go serious --  I've got David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas on deck to read. 

Birth Place
Philadelphia, PA USA

Most of this for my natural history TV writing -- an Emmy (part of a team), Chris's, Cine Golden Eagle, National Academy of Science's Communications Award, etc.

Additional Information

Jeff Shear is the author of the book, The Keys to the Kingdom, which was an investigation into a weapons deal between the US and Japan (the FSX), published by Doubleday in 1994. He has been a Fellow at The Center for Public Integrity, in Washington, DC where he was one of several contributors to the book The Buying of the Congress, published by Avon in 1998. Before that he served as staff correspondent for National Journal, with regular venues at the White House, Congress and Treasury. His work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, etc. He has written TV scripts for the National Geographic Channel, Discovery, and The History Channel. He is currently working on a digital biography about an American woman who spied for the British during World War II, which is serialized on the History News Network, a project of the Center for History and the New Media at George Mason University:

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