Eric Schlosser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Eric Schlosser
Born Eric Matthew Schlosser[1]
(1959-08-17) August 17, 1959 (age 56)
New York City
Occupation Investigative writer
Nationality American
Alma mater Princeton University
Period 1995—present
Genre Non-fiction
Notable works Fast Food Nation (2000)
Reefer Madness (2003)
Spouse Shauna Jean Redford (m. 1985; 2 children)[1][2]

Eric Matthew Schlosser (born August 17, 1959) is an American journalist and author known for investigative journalism, such as in his books Fast Food Nation (2001) and Reefer Madness (2003).


Schlosser was born in Manhattan, 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 the President of NBC in 1974.[3][4]

Schlosser studied American History at Princeton University and earned a graduate degree in British Imperial History from Oxford. He tried playwriting, and wrote two plays, Americans (1985) and We the People (2007).

Journalism and books[edit]

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 reporting for his two-part series "Reefer Madness" and "Marijuana and the Law" (Atlantic Monthly, August and September, 1994), and he won the Sidney Hillman Foundation award for his article "In the Strawberry Fields" (Atlantic Monthly, November 19, 1995).[citation needed]

Schlosser wrote Fast Food Nation, 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. 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.[5]

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,[6] as did BusinessWeek.[7]

Schlosser's book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety was published in September 2013.[8] It focuses on the Damascus Titan missile explosion, a non-nuclear explosion of a Titan II missile in 1980.[9][10] The New Yorker‍ '​'s Louis Menand called it "excellent" and "hair-raising" and said that "Command and Control is how nonfiction should be written."[11] The book was also praised by science historian Steven Shapin in London Review of Books.[citation needed] It was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for History.[12]

He has been working on a book on the American prison system, which has been nearly 10 years in the making.[13]


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 declined to appear in the film itself.[citation needed] He was interviewed by Franny Armstrong in 2005 and is a feature interviewee in her film McLibel. He co-produced Food, Inc. (2008), with Robert Kenner.

Schlosser also served as co-executive producer on the 2007 film There Will Be Blood. In 2014, he was a producer for Food Chains.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Shuana Redford Married In Utah". The New York Times. October 6, 1985. 
  2. ^ "Eugene Register-Guard - Google News Archive Search". 
  3. ^ Seabrook, John. "Dept. of Second Chances: A Mothballed Mural". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  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. ^ Kahn, Jeremy (2001-12-24). "Best & Worst 2001 Honest CEOs. Harebrained ad campaigns. Appalling outfits. They've all earned a place on our year-end list.". Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  6. ^ "Reefer Madness". Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  7. ^ "What Is America Smoking?". BusinessWeek. 2003-05-19. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  8. ^ Greta Johnsen. "Five Books To Read This Fall". 
  9. ^ Walter Russell Mead (2013-09-12). "Atomic Gaffes: Command and Control by Eric Schlosser". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  10. ^ McKinley, James (2012-10-05). "Fast Food Nation Author Will Return With Book on Nuclear Weapons". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  11. ^ "Nukes of Hazard". 
  12. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation". Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  13. ^ Falconer, Morgan, "Eric Schlosser on why he's giving up food", Sunday Times (London), February 5, 2010
  14. ^ Tara Duggan, Documentary shows how those who pick our food get a raw deal, San Francisco Chronicle, November 25, 2014

External links[edit]