Sam Tanenhaus (born October 31, 1955) is an American historian, biographer, and journalist. He is a writer-at-large for The New York Times.
Tanenhaus received his B.A. in English from Grinnell College in 1977 and a M.A. in English Literature from Yale University in 1978. His siblings include psycholinguist Michael Tanenhaus, filmmaker Beth Tanenhaus Winsten, and legal historian David S. Tanenhaus.
Tanenhaus was an assistant editor at The New York Times from 1997 to 1999, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair from 1999 until 2004. From April 2004 to April 2013 he was the editor of The New York Times Book Review. He has written many featured articles for that publication, including a 10-year retrospective on the politics of radical centrism. His 1997 biography of Whittaker Chambers won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for both the National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
Tanenhaus lives in Tarrytown, New York with his wife.
- Tanenhaus, Sam (1986). Literature Unbound. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-33297-0.
- Tanenhaus, Sam (1988). Louis Armstrong (Black Americans of Achievement). Chelsea House Publications. ISBN 0-7910-0221-7.
- Tanenhaus, Sam and Gross, Steve (Photographer) (1995). Old Greenwich Village: An Architectural Portrait. Wiley, John & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-14405-3.
- Tanenhaus, Sam (1997). Whittaker Chambers: A Biography. Modern Library. ISBN 0-375-75145-9.
- Brinkley, Douglas; Tanenhaus, Sam, eds. (2007). McCarthyism in America. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11165-7.
- Tanenhaus, Sam (2009). The Death of Conservatism. Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6884-3.