I spent 22 years as a reporter and foreign correspondent for The New York Times. For much of that time I focused my attention on Latin America, especially Mexico and Cuba, but I also traveled widely and reported from places as diverse as Albania, Montenegro, Guyana and Suriname. In 2001 I published “Here: A Biography of the New American Continent.”
My second book, published in 2006, was “The Man Who Invented Fidel,” about U.S.-Cuba relations. The book has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. I wrote many of the “Portraits of Grief” that, as a group, won a Pulitzer for The Times in 2001. Shortly after that, I started writing about environmental issue, focusing on the environmental and health impacts of the 9/11 attacks.
I left The Times in 2008 to become writer in residence at Seton Hall University, where I completed “City of Dust,” about the aftermath of the 9/11 disaster. I am also a member of the faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. I've won many professional recognitions, among them a 2007 Emmy finalist for “Toxic Legacy,” a documentary, the 2009 Maria Moors Cabot Award for international reporting, and the 2010 Sigma Delta Chi award for the CNN documentary "Terror in the Dust," which was based on my book, "City of Dust."
I continue to write for The Times and other publications. I am extremely proud that Viking, the legendary imprint of Penguin/ Random House, has published my book on Cuba and its people. The title is "The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times." You can see some of the excellent reviews on my Blog page.