Benjamin Schwarz (writer)

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Benjamin Schwarz (born October 20, 1963[1]) is an American editor and writer. From 2000 to 2013 he was literary and national editor of the American monthly magazine The Atlantic.[2] He is currently consulting editor at large at Yale University Press[3] and the national editor of The American Conservative magazine.[4] He has written articles, essays, and reviews on an array of subjects—from fashion to the American South, from current fiction to the archaeology, from national security to architecture, from the history of slavery to the history of childhood, and from international economics to Hollywood.


Before joining the Atlantic's staff, Schwarz was a national correspondent for the magazine. From 1995 to 2000 he wrote a series of provocative essays and reported articles that argued for a far more diminished global role for the United States.[5][6] He also wrote a series of pieces on historical and literary subjects. From 1995 to 1998 Schwarz was the executive editor of World Policy Journal, where his chief mission was to bolster the coverage of cultural issues, international economics, and military affairs. For several years he was a foreign policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, where he researched and wrote on American global strategy, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and military doctrine. At RAND Schwarz wrote a widely cited and highly critical assessment of American counterinsurgency doctrine and practice.[7] Schwarz was also a staff member of the Brookings Institution.

Schwarz ran, and wrote a regular column for, the Atlantic's Books and Critics department, which under his editorship expanded its coverage to include popular culture and manners and mores, as well as books and ideas. The Los Angeles Times wrote that Schwarz had "reshaped the venerable magazine's book section into the shrewdest, best-written and most surprising cultural report currently on offer between slick covers."[8] The writers he recruited to the Books section included Perry Anderson, Caitlin Flanagan, Sandra Tsing Loh, Christopher Hitchens, Cristina Nehring, Joseph O'Neill, Terry Castle, Clive James, and B. R. Myers. Articles in Schwarz's section were National Magazine Award finalists or winners in the Criticism category from 2000 to 2009.[9] The Columbia Journalism Review described Schwarz as "the magazine's in-house intellectual."[10]

He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in history from Yale, where he held the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation's Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. Schwarz was a Fulbright scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford.[1][2]

In 1999 Schwarz won the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.[11] He is writing a biography of Winston Churchill, to be published by Random House.[12]



Essays and reporting


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Magdalen College Register. 1997. p. 342.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Benjamin Schwarz Out at the Atlantic". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved 22 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Former Atlantic Editor Named Consulting Editor Yale Press". Yale News. Retrieved 21 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. =url=
  5. Schwarz, Benjamin Schwarz. "The Diversity Myth". The Atlantic.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>||
  6. Schwarz, Benjamin Schwarz. "Why America Thinks It Has to Run the World". The Atlantic.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Schwarz, Benjamin. "American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador: The Frustrations of Reform and the Illusions of Nationbuilding". RAND Corporation. Retrieved 22 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Rutten, Tim. "Atlantic Turns to the Pacific". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. ASME. "ASME Winners and Finalists Searchable Database".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Sherman, Scott. "Atlantic Rising". Columbia Journalism Review.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists - Page 2". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 20 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Roderick, Kevin. "Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.12.09". LAObserved. Retrieved 21 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>