Tony Horwitz, 1958-2019

Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Tony Horwitz died unexpectedly this week.

Best known for his participatory journalism and non-fiction, Horwitz career spanned a range of publications, including the The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel of Indiana and The Wall Street Journal, for which he was a foreign correspondent from 1990-1993.  Upon his return to the US, he continued domestic reporting, and in 1995 won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his work on exposing the poor conditions low-wage workers face on a daily basis.

A lifelong history buff, Horwitz turned his investigative bent toward nonfiction books in 1998, with the release of Confederates in the Attic, a bestselling deep-dive into the lingering elements of the Civil War, interviewing devoted reenactors, the last remaining Civil War widow, and others for whom the Civil War is less resolved than history books would have us believe.

Other books soon followed, combining Horwitz love for history and storytelling with his signature style of information gathering.  His works include Blue Lattitudes (2002), A Voyage Long and Strange (2008), and Midnight Rising (2011).  His final book, Spying on the South, was released just this month, and chronicles the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, who worked as an undercover New York Times correspondent in the South in the 1850s. 

Horwitz died this week while out for a walk in Chevy Chase, Maryland, apparently due to a sudden cardiac event.  He was 60.  In an ironic twist, he had only recently joked in a New York Times article that his habit of employing "bar-stool democracy," as he called his method of interviewing, had been detrimental to his health.  "Last week I saw my cardiologist,” he wrote. “He told me I drink too much.”

Nevertheless, he was a proponent of this sort of personable research.  When asked how he hoped to be remembered by the subjects he intereviewed for his books and articles, he replied "As that guy from ‘up north’ who asked about their job and life and hopes for the future...and thought what they said was important enough to write down.”

Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101980286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679758334
Availability: Ships from our warehouse today
Published: Vintage - February 22nd, 1999

A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312428327
Availability: Ships from our warehouse today
Published: Picador - April 27th, 2009

Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429263
Availability: Ships from our warehouse today
Published: Picador - August 7th, 2012

Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312422608
Availability: Ships from our warehouse today
Published: Picador - August 1st, 2003

Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452267459
Availability: Ships from our warehouse today
Published: Plume - January 1st, 1992