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Gail Collins        

Author & Editorial Writer; First Female Editor of the New York Times' Editorial Page

In 2001 Gail Collins became the first woman appointed editor of the New York Times' editorial page, serving in the position until 2007. She resumed her syndicated opinion column for the New York Times in 2007. Ms. Collins also writes for "The Conversation," a Times blog in which she discusses political issues with David Brooks.

In her books, "America's Women" and "When Everything Changed," Ms. Collins offers insightful research and historical perspective, with characteristic wit and humanity. Reviewer Amy Bloom writes that Collins' "smart, thorough, often droll and extremely readable account of women's recent history" provides the "best summary of American women's social and political history that I've read." Of her columns, New York Magazine finds that "in an age of outbursts, Collins has subverted the pundit's rude role, performing what amounts to a sly soft-shoe over a rising wave of ideological bombast."

Ms. Collins earned a Bachelor's degree in journalism at Marquette and a Master's in government at University of Massachusetts. Before joining The Times, Ms. Collins was a columnist at New York Newsday and the New York Daily News, and a reporter for United Press International. Her first jobs in journalism were in Connecticut, where she founded the Connecticut State News Bureau (CSNB), which provided coverage of the state capitol and Connecticut politics.

Speech Topics


When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women

In this speech Collins champions American women. With a gift for story telling, Collins tells of the icons and the ordinary as she examines the struggles and successes women have achieved. From the time the first colonists arrived on our shores to the open sexism of the 1960’s “Mad Men” to Hillary Clinton’s historic run for President, Collins, with a clear eye and candid style, tells the story of all American Women in the battle for parity. Amazingly , for centuries this battle was incredibly unsuccessful until the last fifty years, when almost in a heartbeat all the established preconceptions of women as being inferior to men intellectually and physically came crashing down. How we got from there to here and why it happened, historically speaking, so fast is an enlightening and fascinating journey which resonates with all audiences.

Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Scandal and American Politics

In this speech Collins destroys the image we have that we are living in the most scandalous and screechiest era in American history. Going back to several other periods, Collins lays out the often outrageous and always colorful tempests that have surrounded certain major political figure and explains how telling and meaningful political gossip is and what it says about the anxieties of the age.

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