Bruce Feiler

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Bruce Feiler
Born (1964-10-25) October 25, 1964 (age 55)
EducationSavannah Country Day School; Yale University B.A. 1987; Cambridge University MPhil International Relations 1991
OccupationWriter, journalist, television host
Notable credit(s)
Best-selling author of fifteen books; writer-presenter of the PBS miniseries Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler; creator of Council of Dads; credited with formulating The Feiler Faster Thesis
Spouse(s)Linda Rottenberg
ChildrenEden, Tybee

Bruce Feiler (born October 25, 1964) is an American writer and television personality. He is the author of 15 books, including six consecutive New York Times nonfiction best-sellers. Among the best-sellers is Council of Dads, a book that describes how he responded to a diagnosis of a rare cancer by asking a group of men to be present in the lives of his young daughters. The book was the subject of a TED Talk and inspired NBC drama series Council of Dads.[1] His latest work explores the power of life stories. Drawing on interviews with Americans in all 50 states, he offers strategies for coping with life's unsettling times in his new book, Life Is In The Transitions.[2] Bruce writes the "This Life" column in the Sunday New York Times and is also the writer/presenter of the PBS miniseries Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler (2014).[3]


Feiler is credited with formulating the Feiler Faster Thesis:[4] the increasing pace of society and journalists' ability to report it is matched by the public's desire for more information.

He has written for numerous publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Gourmet magazine,[5] where he won three James Beard Awards.[6] He is also a frequent contributor to National Public Radio, CNN, and Fox News.

A native of Savannah, Georgia, where he attended the Savannah Country Day School, Feiler lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Linda Rottenberg, and their twin daughters.[7] Rottenberg, who frequently appears in his books, is co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, a nonprofit that supports High-Impact Entrepreneurs.

Feiler completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University where he was a member of Ezra Stiles College, before spending time teaching English in Japan as part of the JET Program. This experience led to his first book, Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan, a popular portrait of life in a small Japanese town. Upon his return he earned a master's degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, which he chronicled in his book Looking for Class.


Bruce Feiler is the author of Life Is In The Transitions, a book that introduces original strategies for transforming life's turbulent moments into periods of creativity and growth.[8] Informed by the sifting and coding of life story interviews across America, Feiler examines what gives our lives meaning. Adam Grant called the book, which will be published in May 2020, one of "The 20 New Leadership Books for 2020."[9]

Feiler's recent work made him a respected authority on religion, politics, and relevant emotional issues. With The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military. The result is a funny and thought-provoking playbook for contemporary families.

A story he wrote about the book for the New York Times, called "The Stories that Bind Us," discussed how the more children know about their family history, the higher their well-being and resilience. The piece was on the most-emailed list for a month. Feiler also did a popular TED talk about the book.

Walking the Bible describes his perilous, 10,000-mile journey retracing the Five Books of Moses through the desert. The book was hailed as an "instant classic" by the Washington Post and "thoughtful, informed, and perceptive" by The New York Times.[10] It spent more than a year and a half on the New York Times best-seller list, has been translated into fifteen languages, and is the subject of a children's book and a photography book.[11]

In 2006, PBS aired the miniseries Walking the Bible that received record ratings and was viewed by 20 million people in its first month. "Beguiling," wrote the Wall Street Journal. "Mr. Feiler is an engaging and informed guide."

In The Council of Dads: A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live, Feiler describes how, after learning he had a seven-inch osteosarcoma in his left femur, he asked six men from all passages of his life to be present through the passages of his young daughters’ lives. "I believe my daughters will have plenty of opportunities in their lives," he wrote these men. "They’ll have loving families. They’ll have each other. But they may not have me. They may not have their dad. Will you help be their dad?"

The book was featured on the cover of USA Weekend,[12] on The Today Show,[13] and in People magazine. Dr. Sanjay Gupta made a documentary about the story on CNN.[14] Feiler began an initiative with 23andMe to decode the genome of patients with primary bone cancers. His story inspired the NBC drama series Council of Dads.

Abraham recounts his personal search for the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. "Exquisitely written," wrote the Boston Globe, "100 percent engaging." The book was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, became a runaway New York Times best-seller, and inspired thousands of grassroots interfaith discussions.[15]

Where God Was Born describes his year-long trek retracing the Bible through Israel, Iraq, and Iran. "Bruce Feiler is a real-life Indiana Jones," wrote the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story discusses the significance of Moses as a symbolic prophet throughout four-hundred years of American history. Both books were New York Times best-sellers. He also wrote about the role of Moses as a defining influence in American life, including the presidency of Barack Obama, in TIME Magazine.[16]

Feiler's early books involve immersing himself in different cultures and bringing other worlds to life. These include Learning to Bow, an account of the year he spent teaching in rural Japan; Looking for Class, about life inside Oxford and Cambridge; and Under the Big Top, which depicts the year he spent performing as a clown in the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus.


  • Life Is In The Transitions: Mastering Change in A Nonlinear Age (2020) (ISBN 1-594-20682-1)
  • The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us (2017) (ISBN 978-1-59-420681-8)
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More (ISBN 978-0-06-177873-5)
  • Generation Freedom: The Middle East Uprisings and the Remaking of the Modern World (ISBN 978-0-06-210498-4)
  • The Council of Dads: A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live (2010) (ISBN 0-06-177876-1)
  • America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story (2009) (ISBN 0-06-057488-7)
  • Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey (2005) (ISBN 0-06-079904-8)
  • Where God Was Born : A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion (2005) (ISBN 0-06-057487-9)
  • Walking the Bible (Children's Edition) : An Illustrated Journey for Kids Through the Greatest Stories Ever Told (2004) (ISBN 0-06-051119-2)
  • Abraham : A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths (2002) (ISBN 0-06-052509-6)
  • Walking the Bible: A Journey on Land Through the Five Books of Moses (2001) (ISBN 0-380-80731-9)
  • Dreaming Out Loud: Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Wade Hayes, and the Changing Face of Nashville (1998) (ISBN 0-380-79470-5)
  • Under the Big Top: A Season with the Circus (1995) (ISBN 0-06-052702-1)
  • Looking for Class: Days and Nights at Oxford and Cambridge (1993) (ISBN 0-06-052703-X)
  • Learning to Bow: An American Teacher in a Japanese School (1991) (Republished as Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan) (ISBN 0-06-057720-7)
  • Introduction to the 2002 re-launch of H. V. Morton's classic 1936 travelog, In the Steps of St. Paul (ISBN 0-306-81112-X)


  1. ^ Ausiello, Michael; Ausiello, Michael (May 12, 2019). "NBC Fall Schedule: Manifest Held for Midseason, Good Place 'Promoted'". TVLine. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "Life Is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler: 9781594206825 | Books". Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  3. ^ "Walking the Bible". Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  4. ^ "Kausfiles – Battles for the Vital Center!". Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  5. ^ "Archive of articles in Gourmet". Archived from the original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  6. ^ "James Beard Foundation Awards archive=2010-04-30".
  7. ^ "SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER | About Bruce Feiler". SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  8. ^ "Life Is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler: 9781594206825 | Books". Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "The 20 New Leadership Books for 2020". Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  10. ^ Bernstein, Richard (April 4, 2001). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Transformed on the Trail of the Patriarchs". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  11. ^ "Official HarperCollins site". Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "It Takes a Village of Dads". Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  13. ^ "Interview with Matt Lauer". Retrieved May 3, 2010.[dead link]
  14. ^ "What would you do if you thought you were going to die?". CNN. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  15. ^ "Abraham – HarperCollins site". Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  16. ^ Feiler, Bruce (October 12, 2009). "How Moses Shaped America". Time. Retrieved May 3, 2010.

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