Elinor Burkett

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Elinor Burkett
Born Philadelphia, United States
Occupation Journalist, author, biographer, producer, director

Dr. Elinor Burkett is an American producer, director, journalist and author.

A film produced by her, Music by Prudence, won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) on March 7, 2010.


Burkett holds a doctorate in history and was professor in the subject at Frostburg State University for 13 years. In a dramatic turn, she gave up her tenure to get a Masters at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.[1] She was a staff writer for the Miami Herald and she has been published by leading publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and Harper's Bazaar. She has held Fulbright professorships in both Kyrgyzstan and Zimbabwe and received numerous awards and grants for her work as a historian and writer. She also chaired the Department of Journalism of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She divides her time between New York and her home in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe where she trains journalists, writes and makes films.[2][3]

She authored her first book in 1993, written with Frank Bruni. In A Gospel of Shame : Children, Sexual abuse and the Catholic Church the pair explored the incidences of Catholic sex abuse cases. Two years later she wrote The Gravest Show on Earth : America in the Age of AIDS . Burkett offerd a scorching criticism of the 'AIDS industry' for greed, self-promotion and putting politics over prevention.[4]

In 1997, she again collaborated with Bruni on Consumer Terrorism : How to Get Satisfaction When You're Being Ripped Off. A year later she collaborated with Susan Molinari on Representative Mom: Balancing Budgets, Bill, and Baby in the U.S. Congress.[5] In the same year she challenged her own liberal feminist beliefs by interviewing conservative women for The Right Women : a Journey through the Heart of Conservative America.[6]

In 2000's The Baby Boon : How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless, she attacked the US government and industry for pro-family initiatives that leaves the nation's childless paying the price.[7] A year later she released her study of an American High School, Another Planet : a Year in the Life of a Suburban High School.[8]

In 2004 she wrote So Many Enemies, So Little Time. An American Woman in All the Wrong Places... She related to her time in Kyrgyzstan where she moved in 2001 as a Fulbright Professor teaching journalism at the Kyrgyz-Russo Slavonic University. That same year, in the wake of 9–11, she travelled across all the -stans, as well as Iran, Iraq, Russia, China, Mongolia, and IndoChina.[9]

In 2004 Burkett also co-directed Is It True What They Say About Ann, a documentary about the right-wing commentator Ann Coulter.[10]

Four years later she wrote her first biography, about the late Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir. In the book Burkett vindicated Meir for her role in the Yom Kippur War, stressing that far greater responsibility lay with the Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan.[11]

A film that she was involved in the production of, Music by Prudence, won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). She was removed from production of the documentary a year earlier, resulting in a lawsuit and out of court settlement. It caused a media frenzy when in the midst of the televised Oscar ceremony she interrupted the acceptance speech of producer and director Roger Ross Williams. It was widely touted as the "Kanye Moment" of that year's Oscars.





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