Kurt Andersen

Kurt Andersen


Kurt Andersen is a writer as well as host and co-creator of Studio 360.

His most recent book, "Fantasyland," spent a month on the New York Times' bestseller list, and has been called "a great revisionist history of America" (Hanna Rosin in the Times), "deeply insightful" (Harvard professor Laurence Tribe), "dazzling, an absolute joy" (Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner), "incredibly illuminating, urgent, terrifying and funny" (Harvard professor Jorie Graham) and "the most important book that I have read this year" (MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell).

He is also co-author of "You Can't Spell America Without Me," another 2017 Times bestseller, and the author of three other critically acclaimed bestselling novels — "True Believers," "Heyday" and "Turn of the Century." His other books include "Reset," about the history and consequences of the 2008 financial crisis, and "The Real Thing," a book of humorous essays. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs, and co-wrote "Loose Lips," an off-Broadway theatrical revue. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and frequent commentator on MSNBC.

Previously, Andersen was a staff writer and columnist for The New Yorker, a columnist for New York, and the architecture and design critic for Time. He was also editor-in-chief of both New York and Spy magazines, the latter of which he co-founded. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and received an honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design.



Recent Stories

Arts, Culture & Media

Pause, Play, Record

It's become a kind of sport for music-lovers to mourn yet another almost-obsolete technology. For Jocelyn Gonzales it's the cassette tape. Her old mix tapes can't be recreated in a playlist on iTunes -? they're a special medium unto themselves.

Arts, Culture & Media

Drawing and Doubting

A spell at the MacDowell Colony is one of the best perks an artist can get. Tara Geer, a visual artist, went twice to work on her drawings. She also interviewed a MacDowell legend, lunch delivery man Blake Tewksbury. But the whole time, she was afraid she'd be sent home.

Arts, Culture & Media

MacAlford Colony

Henry Alford is a writer who has never been to MacDowell. And he doesn't really want to. No, what Henry wants to do is run the place. We give him a chance to try out for the job. Produced by Owen Agnew.

Arts, Culture & Media

Blind Boys of Alabama

They got their start at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939. Sixty-nine years later, the band remains a gospel music institution. For their latest album, Down in New Orleans, the Blind Boys went to Louisiana for a new take on some classic spirituals. Blind Boys perform live in the studio and one of the group's original members, Jimmy Carter, tells Kurt how they got started.

Conflict & Justice

Porochista Khakpour

She was three years old in 1980, when her family fled post-revolutionary Iran. Khakpour is 30 now, and her memories are woven into her lyrical, witty debut novel, Sons and Other Flammable Objects just out in paperback. Kurt talks with her about the book's loosely autobiographical portrait of a family like hers, adjusting to life in 1980s California and then post-9/11 America.

Arts, Culture & Media

Daisey Does MacDowell

Just over a century ago in New Hampshire, Edward and Marian MacDowell opened the doors of America's first official artists colony. Aaron Copland wrote "Billy the Kid" there. Willa Cather worked on Death Comes for the Archbishop. And Mike Daisey went to work on a monologue. He spent a month in one of the wooded cabins at the MacDowell Colony last summer, and shares this story with us.

Arts, Culture & Media

Kyle Baker's Nat Turner

As a kid, Kyle Baker was obsessed with comic books and built a career in kids' animation working on shows like Looney Toons and Rugrats. Baker's new book, Nat Turner, is the furthest thing from kid stuff. It's a graphic retelling of the violent 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. Drawn in black and white and shades of grey, Baker depicts the historic revolt with a vivid, pulpy intensity. Baker tells Kurt how he ended up telling this story.

Arts, Culture & Media

''Little House'' the Musical

In the 1930s Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote books about her childhood on the American frontier in the late 1800s. In the 1970s Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert starred in a hugely successful TV show based on the stories. A zillion reruns later "Little House" has returned, as a musical. The production is up now at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and Gilbert, all grown up, has been cast as Ma. Minneapolis theater maven Sarah Lemanczyck looked into the buzz surrounding the show.

Arts, Culture & Media

Waiting for Maiden

This summer, Iron Maiden is on a massive world tour. To the despair of some fans, they won't be stopping in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. Ruxandra Guidi stumbled onto a diehard fan base for a British metal band that had its last hit 20 years ago.