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Jane Mayer    

Political Writer for The New Yorker and Bestselling Author

 Recent subjects include Alberto Mora and the Pentagon’s secret torture policy, how the United States outsources torture (rendition), the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the legality of CIA interrogations. She has also written about George W. Bush, the bin Laden family, Sarah Palin, and the television show 24.

Before joining the New Yorker, Mayer was for 12 years a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. In 1984, she became the Journal’s first female White House correspondent. She was also a war correspondent and a foreign correspondent for the paper. Among other stories, she covered the bombing of the American barracks in Beirut, the Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the final days of Communism in the Soviet Union. Mayer was a winner of the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2008, and, the Edward Weintal Prize from Georgetown University, and the Ridenhour Book Prize. She is a nominee for a 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award, a 2008 LA Times Book Prize, and the 2009 Helen Bernstein Award from New York Public Library. She has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award, and was nominated twice by the Journal for a Pulitzer Prize in the feature-writing category.

Before joining the Journal, Mayer worked as a metropolitan reporter for the Washington Star. She began her career in journalism as a stringer for TIME while still a student in college. She has also written for a number of other publications, including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Review of Books.

Mayer is the author of the best-selling 2008 book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, which was chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year, and by the Economist, Salon, Slate, and Bloomberg as one of the best books of the year. She is also the co-author of two other best-selling books: Strange Justice, written with Jill Abramson and published in 1994, was a finalist for the 1994 National Book Award for nonfiction; her first book, Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984-1988, co-authored by Doyle McManus, is an acclaimed account of the Reagan White House’s involvement in the Iran-Contra affair.

Mayer, who was born in New York, graduated with honors from Yale in 1977 and continued her studies in history at Oxford. She lives in Washington with her husband and daughter.


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