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Steve Wasserman


Steve Wasserman
Steve Wasserman

Steve Wasserman, a director of literary agency Kneerim & Williams at Fish & Richardson and manager of its New York office, is a former editor of the...


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Stories by Steve Wasserman


Reflections on the Death of Fidel

All previous socialist revolutionaries had seemed grimly puritanical; by contrast, Castro’s barbudos appeared almost to be bohemians with guns. Democracy and radical reform were poised to replace dictatorship and social misery.

Posted on Nov 26, 2016 READ MORE

Arts and Culture

‘Let’s Be Old-Fashioned’: Remembering Gore Vidal

Zuade Kaufman/Truthdig

When, exactly, to give him the bad news? Before our interview? That would spoil the conversation. Lunch would be best. But when, exactly? Before the first course, during the meal, or ought I to delay until dessert?

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 READ MORE

Arts and Culture

The Amazon Effect

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From the start, Jeff Bezos wanted to “get big fast.” He was never a “small is beautiful” kind of guy.

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 READ MORE
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Arts and Culture : Book Review

Steve Wasserman on the Scourge of Czarist Russia

book cover

Lesley Blanch’s “The Sabres of Paradise” tells the illuminating story of Shamyl, the Imam of Daghestan, whose 25-year fight against the Russian empire left a half-million dead, and lessons still to be learned in wars from Chechnya to Afghanistan.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE

Arts and Culture : Book Review

Steve Wasserman on the Fate of Books After the Age of Print


Will publishers and booksellers, writers and readers be able to survive and thrive in the Digital Era now engulfing us all?

Posted on Mar 5, 2010 READ MORE

Arts and Culture : Book Review

Steve Wasserman on Fidel Castro

What will history say about the implacable anti-imperialist and unrepentant revolutionary who has held power in Cuba for nearly 50 years? The publication of Fidel Castro’s and Ignacio Ramonet’s “My Life: A Spoken Autobiography” helps us understand the man and his myth.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE

Arts and Culture : In the News

Truth or Consequences

We got snookered. Motoko Rich of The New York Times reports in her article posted March 4 that the just-published “memoir” by Margaret B. Jones, called “Love and Consequences,” about Jones’ “life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods,” is a fabrication.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE

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Steve Wasserman
Steve Wasserman

Steve Wasserman, a director of literary agency Kneerim & Williams at Fish & Richardson and manager of its New York office, is a former editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review and a principal architect of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, from 1996 to 2005. Before joining the newspaper, Steve was for six years the editorial director of Times Books when it was a division of Random House Inc. Among the numerous authors he worked with were President Bill Clinton, Ted Koppel, Theodore Draper, Basil Davidson, Sister Souljah and Robert J. Samuelson.

Before joining Times Books, Steve was publisher and editorial director of Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc. Among his notable achievements there were the publication of that imprint’s first national best-seller in 30 years, “Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences,” by John Allen Paulos. Steve also headed FSG’s Noonday Press, the firm’s trade paperback imprint, overseeing both nonfiction and fiction titles.

Steve is also a former editor in chief of New Republic Books, a subsidiary of New Republic magazine and a co-publishing venture with Basic Books.

For five years, from 1978 through 1983, Steve was assistant editor of the Op-Ed Page and Sunday Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, working with such writers as Gore Vidal, Greil Marcus, Herbert Gold and Ronald Steel, among others.

Steve is a founder and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California and has taught advanced nonfiction writing at USC’s Professional Writing Program. He has also taught cultural criticism at the Graduate School of Journalism of the University of California, Berkeley. In 2002, Steve chaired the nominating jury for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction; in 2004, he was a member of the nominating jury for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He also served for nearly a decade on the jury for the annual literary prizes awarded by the Commonwealth Club of California.

Wasserman served for nearly three years, from 2007-2010, as Truthdig’s Book Editor, in which capacity Truthdig garnered two consecutive Maggies for its reviews.

He is currently a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities, editor of Yale University Press, and is an adjunct professor in NYU’s Department of Cultural Reporting and Journalism.

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