||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
Joseph Lelyveld (born April 5, 1937) was executive editor of the New York Times from 1994 to 2001, and interim executive editor in 2003 after the resignation of Howell Raines. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.
In all, Lelyveld worked at the Times for nearly 40 years, starting out in 1962. He graduated from Harvard College in 1958, received a Master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1960, and subsequently a Fulbright Scholarship. At the Times, he went from copy editor to foreign correspondent within three years.
Among Lelyveld's books is Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White, based on his reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1960s and 1980s. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1986 for Move Your Shadow.
Controversy over Mahatma Gandhi book 
Reviews of Lelyveld’s Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India claimed that the book portrays Gandhi as a bisexual with a relationship with one of his disciples, the German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder Hermann Kallenbach, a charge that Lelyveld insists is incorrect.
Since the controversy broke out, Lelyveld has consistently denied claims that his book portrays Gandhi as a bisexual, or a racist, etc. "It does not say Gandhi was bisexual. It does not say that he was homosexual. It does not say that he was a racist. The word bisexual never appears in the book and the word racist only appears once in a very limited context; relating to a single phrase and not to Gandhi's whole set attitudes or history in South Africa. I didn't say these things, So I can hardly defend them."
Lelyveld adds, "It is a responsible book, it is a sensitive book, it is a book that is admiring of Gandhi and his struggle for social justice in India and it's been turned into as if it is some kind of sensationalist pot boiler. It is not."
Lelyveld quotes correspondence between Gandhi and Kallenbach, including excerpts from the latter's diary, with language that seems suggestive of a homosexual relationship, with Gandhi speaking of his disciple Kallenbach as "Lower House," and of himself as "Upper House," and saying that cotton-wool and Vaseline were a constant reminder of their "mutual love," Lelyveld says this relates to the cotton wool and Vaseline that Gandhi and Kallenbach used in giving themselves enemas, one of Gandhi's fads. Both Lelyveld and other commentators have claimed that while the language by today's standards may seem to betray a homosexual relationship, for the time period in which it was used, it was the usual language between close platonic friendship bonds.
Politicians in India have generally and across the political spectrum denounced the book and demanded it be banned as being allegedly defamatory, with the Government of Gujarat under Narendra Modi banning the book as "perverse in nature... hurting the sentiments of those with capacity for sane and logical thinking," and demanding a "public apology" from Lelyveld, and with Federal Law Minister Veerappa Moily of the Governments of India and Industries Minister Narayan Rane of the Government of Maharashtra promising to ban it. There have also been demands for an apology from Lelyveld and demands to have him prosecuted. Liberal commentators and some Gandhi kin have taken umbrage against the backlash against Lelyveld and opposed moves to ban the book. Gandhi's great grandson Tushar Gandhi said a ban of the book would be a "greater insult" to Gandhi than that book or the author might have intended, saying, "How does it matter if the Mahatma was straight, gay or bisexual? Every time he would still be the man who led India to freedom." He also promised to mount a legal challenge to any such ban of the book. Lelyveld himself denounced the calls for the ban on his book.
- "House of Bondage: A South African Black Man Exposes in His Own Pictures and Words the Bitter Life of His Homeland Today" (foreward to book by Ernest Cole). New York: Random House, 1967. LCCN 67-21147
- Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White New York: Crown, 1985. ISBN 0-8129-1237-3 ISBN 978-0812912371
- Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. ISBN 0-374-22590-7 ISBN 978-0374225902. April 6, 2005.
- Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. ISBN 978-0-307-26958-4, ISBN 978-0-307-26958-4. March 29, 2011.
- "Center for Communication - Bios". Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- Lelyveld, Joseph (2005-03-06). "Breaking Away". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- "Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Non-Fiction" (web). pulitzer.org. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Dubner, Stephen J. (2005-03-21). "The Vindication of Former New York Times Executive Editor Joe Lelyveld". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- Column archive at The New York Review of Books
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Joseph Lelyveld on Charlie Rose
- Works by or about Joseph Lelyveld in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Lelyveld audio interview reporting from the 2008 Republican National Convention for The New York Review of Books
- Review of Lelyveld's Gandhi biography by Christopher Hitchens, July 2011 in The Atlantic
|This article about a United States journalist born in the 1930s is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|