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Eric Schlosser

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Eric Schlosser
BornEric Matthew Schlosser[1]
(1959-08-17) August 17, 1959 (age 64)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationInvestigative writer
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Oriel College, Oxford (MLitt)
Notable worksFast Food Nation (2001)
Reefer Madness (2003)
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (2013)
Shauna Jean Redford
(m. 1985)
ParentHerbert Schlosser (father)
RelativesRobert Redford (father-in-law)

Eric Matthew Schlosser (born August 17, 1959) is an American journalist and author known for his investigative journalism, such as in his books Fast Food Nation (2001), Reefer Madness (2003), and Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (2013).



Schlosser was born in New York City, New York; he spent his childhood there and in Los Angeles, California. His parents are Judith (née Gassner) and Herbert Schlosser, a former Wall Street lawyer who turned to broadcasting later in his career, eventually becoming president of NBC in 1974 and later becoming a vice president of RCA.[1][3][4]

Schlosser graduated with an A.B. in history from Princeton University in 1982 after completing a 148-page-long senior thesis titled "Academic Freedom during the McCarthy Era: Anti-Communism, Conformity and Princeton."[5] He then earned a Master of Letters in British Imperial History from Oriel College, Oxford. He tried playwriting, writing two plays, Americans (1985) and We the People (2007). He is married to Shauna Redford, daughter of actor Robert Redford.[1]

Journalism and books


Schlosser started his career as a journalist with The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, Massachusetts. He quickly gained recognition for his investigative pieces, earning two awards within two years of joining the staff: he won the National Magazine Award for his reporting in his two-part series "Reefer Madness" and "Marijuana and the Law" (The Atlantic Monthly, August and September 1994), and he won the Sidney Hillman Foundation award for his article "In the Strawberry Fields" (The Atlantic Monthly, November 19, 1995).[citation needed]

External videos
video icon Presentation by Schlosser on Fast Food Nation at the 92nd Street Y, May 31, 2001, C-SPAN
video icon Booknotes interview with Schlosser on Reefer Madness, June 15, 2003, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Schlosser on Reefer Madness at the Miami Book Fair, November 9, 2003, C-SPAN
video icon After Words interview with Schlosser on Command and Control, September 27, 2013, C-SPAN

Schlosser wrote Fast Food Nation (2001), an exposé on the unsanitary and discriminatory practices of the fast food industry. Fast Food Nation evolved from a two-part article in Rolling Stone. The book won the 2002 Firecracker Alternative Book Award for Nonfiction.[6] Schlosser helped adapt his book into a 2006 film directed by Richard Linklater. The film opened November 19, 2006. Chew On This (2006), co-written with Charles Wilson, is an adaptation of the book for younger readers. Fortune called Fast Food Nation the "Best Business Book of the Year" in 2001.[7]

His 2003 book Reefer Madness discusses the history and current trade of marijuana, the use of migrant workers in California strawberry fields, and the American pornography industry and its history. William F. Buckley gave Reefer Madness a favorable review,[8] as did BusinessWeek.[9]

Schlosser's book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety was published in September 2013.[10] It focuses on the 1980 Damascus Titan missile explosion, a non-nuclear explosion of a Titan II missile near Damascus, AR.[11][12] The New Yorker's Louis Menand called it "excellent" and "hair-raising" and said that "Command and Control is how nonfiction should be written."[13] It was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History.[14]

He has been working on a book on the American prison system, which has been over 10 years in the making.[15]


  • Schlosser, Eric; Wilson, Charles (2006). Chew on this: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-618-59394-1.
  • Jayaraman, Saru; Schlosser, Eric (February 12, 2013). Behind the Kitchen Door. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-6759-2.



Schlosser appeared in an interview for the DVD of Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, having a one-on-one discussion with the filmmaker about the fast-food industry. He did not appear in the film itself. He was interviewed by Franny Armstrong in 2005 and is a feature interviewee in her film McLibel.

Schlosser appeared in the 2008 documentary, Food, Inc., and the 2023 sequel Food, Inc. 2.

Schlosser also served as co-executive producer on the 2007 film There Will Be Blood. In 2014, he was an executive producer of the farmworker documentary Food Chains,[16] a credit he shared with Eva Longoria. They both won a James Beard Foundation Award for their roles.[17] Schlosser also shared a director credit for the multimedia installation entitled "the bomb", an experimental film about nuclear weaponry coupled with a live score by The Acid.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d "Shuana Redford Married In Utah". The New York Times. October 6, 1985. Archived from the original on January 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Robert Redford is a grandfather". Eugene Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. August 3, 1992. p. 2 – via Google News Archive.
  3. ^ Seabrook, John (October 22, 2001). "Dept. of Second Chances: A Mothballed Mural". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "Felicia Warburg Becomes Fiancee; Bennington Alumna Engaged to Robert William Sarnoff, Son of R.C.A. Head Strauss". The New York Times. April 27, 1950.
  5. ^ Schlosser, Eric Matthew (1981). "Academic Freedom during the McCarthy Era: Anti-Communism, Conformity and Princeton". Princeton University Senior Theses. History Department, Princeton University. Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library...To order a copy complete the Senior Thesis Request Form. For more information contact mudd@princeton.edu.
  6. ^ "Firecracker Alternative Book Awards". ReadersRead.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Kahn, Jeremy (December 24, 2001). "Best & Worst 2001 Honest CEOs. Harebrained ad campaigns. Appalling outfits. They've all earned a place on our year-end list". money.cnn.com. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  8. ^ "Reefer Madness". National Review. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  9. ^ "What Is America Smoking?". BusinessWeek. May 19, 2003. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  10. ^ Greta Johnsen. "Five Books To Read This Fall".
  11. ^ Mead, Walter Russell (September 12, 2013). "Atomic Gaffes: Command and Control by Eric Schlosser". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  12. ^ McKinley, James (October 5, 2012). "Fast Food Nation Author Will Return With Book on Nuclear Weapons". The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  13. ^ Menand, Louis (September 30, 2013). "Nukes of Hazard". The New Yorker.
  14. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation". Pulitzer.org. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Falconer, Morgan, "Eric Schlosser on why he's giving up food", Sunday Times (London), February 5, 2010
  16. ^ Tara Duggan, Documentary shows how those who pick our food get a raw deal, San Francisco Chronicle, November 25, 2014
  17. ^ "The 2015 Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards: Complete Winner Recap". www.jamesbeard.org. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Mintzer, Jordan (February 11, 2017). "'the bomb': Film Review | Berlin 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2018.