Evan Osnos

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Evan Osnos
Osnos at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in 2011
Evan Lionel Richard Osnos

December 24, 1976 (1976-12-24) (age 47)
London, England
Other names欧逸文
Alma materHarvard University (AB)
EmployerThe New Yorker
SpouseSarabeth Berman
RelativesKatherine Osnos Sanford (Sister)
AwardsNational Book Award for Nonfiction

Evan Lionel Richard Osnos (born December 24, 1976) is an American journalist and author. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2008, best known for his coverage of politics and foreign affairs, in the United States and China.[1][2][3] His 2014 book, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, won the National Book Award for nonfiction.[4]

In October 2020 he published a biography of Joe Biden, entitled Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.[5] In September 2021, he published Wildland: The Making of America's Fury, about profound cultural and political changes occurring between September 11, 2001, and January 6, 2021, as evidenced by the turmoil of 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Osnos was born in London, when his parents, Susan (née Sherer) Osnos and Peter L.W. Osnos, were visiting from Moscow, where his father was assigned as a correspondent for The Washington Post.[6]

Osnos' father was a Jewish refugee from Poland born in India when his family was en route to the U.S.[7] His mother was the daughter of diplomat Albert W. Sherer Jr.[8]

Osnos was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, and graduated from Greenwich High School in 1994.[9][10] He then attended Harvard University, where in 1998 he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in government.[11]


In the summer of 1999, Osnos joined the Chicago Tribune as a metro reporter, and, later, a national and foreign correspondent.[12] He was based in New York at the time of the September 11 attacks. In 2002, he was assigned to the Middle East, where he covered the Iraq War and reported from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere. In 2005, he became the China correspondent.[13] He was a guest on the Colbert Report in 2007 and 2011 to discuss China's changes.[14][15] He was part of a Chicago Tribune team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.[16]

Osnos joined The New Yorker in September 2008 and served as the magazine's China correspondent until 2013. Osnos has contributed to the NPR radio show This American Life and the PBS television show Frontline.[17][18] As The New Yorker's China correspondent, Evan maintained a regular blog called "Letter from China"[19] and wrote articles about China's young neoconservatives, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and the Wenzhou train crash. According to The Washington Post, "In the pages of the New Yorker, Evan Osnos has portrayed, explained and poked fun at this new China better than any other writer from the West or the East."[20] He received two awards from the Overseas Press Club and the Osborn Elliott Prize for excellence in journalism from the Asia Society.[21][22]

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (2014), Osnos' first book, follows the lives of individuals swept up in China's "radical transformation", Osnos said, in an interview on Fresh Air in June 2014.[2] He said Chinese Communist Party leaders abandoned "the scripture of socialism and they held on to the saints of socialism." In addition to the National Book Award, the book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction.[23] Osnos left China in 2013, to write about politics and foreign affairs at The New Yorker. Among other topics, he examined the politics behind a chemical leak in West Virginia[24] and twice profiled Vice President Joe Biden, which became the basis for a book.[25] According to Publishers Weekly, his book, Joe Biden constituted "a portrait of the candidate that's smart and evocative."[26]

Wildland: The Making of America's Fury (2021) follows three dissimilar communities in the US and demonstrates how their interconnections reveal "seismic changes in American politics and culture."[27] The book, a New York Times bestseller, focused on a period of political dissolution bounded by the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.[28][29]

Personal life[edit]

Osnos is married to Sarabeth Berman, a graduate of Barnard College.[11] Since July 2013, they have lived in Washington, D.C., with their two children.[30] Osnos' Chinese name is 欧逸文 (Ōu Yìwén).[31] His father, Peter Osnos, is founder and editor-at-large of PublicAffairs, a publishing company.



  • Osnos, Evan (2014). Age of ambition : chasing fortune, truth, and faith in the New China. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • — (2020). Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now. New York: Scribner. p. 192. ISBN 978-1982174026.
  • — (2021). Wildland: The Making of America's Fury. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 480. ISBN 978-0374286675.


  • "Ruling-Class Rules: How to thrive in the power elite – while declaring it your enemy", The New Yorker, January 29, 2024, pp. 18–23. "In the nineteen-twenties... American elites, some of whom feared a Bolshevik revolution, consented to reform... Under Franklin D. Roosevelt... the U.S. raised taxes, took steps to protect unions, and established a minimum wage. The costs, [Peter] Turchin writes, 'were borne by the American ruling class.'... Between the nineteen-thirties and the nineteen-seventies, a period that scholars call the Great Compression, economic equality narrowed, except among Black Americans... But by the nineteen-eighties the Great Compression was over. As the rich grew richer than ever, they sought to turn their money into political power; spending on politics soared." (p. 22.) "[N]o democracy can function well if people are unwilling to lose power – if a generation of leaders... becomes so entrenched that it ages into gerontocracy; if one of two major parties denies the arithmetic of elections; if a cohort of the ruling class loses status that it once enjoyed and sets out to salvage it." (p. 23.)
  • "China's Age of Malaise", The New Yorker, October 23, 2023.[32]
  • "Wes Moore Would Like to Make History", The New Yorker, July 9, 2023.[33]


  1. ^ "Contributors". The New Yorker. Conde Nast. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "A 'New Yorker' Writer's Take On China's 'Age Of Ambition'". NPR. Fresh Air. June 3, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  3. ^ Shapiro, Judith (May 25, 2014). "Striving for Wealth and Truth in China, in Face of Monolithic Government". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  4. ^ Dwyer, Colin. "'Redeployment,' 'Age Of Ambition' Win National Book Awards". NPR.org. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Osnos, Evan (October 27, 2020). Joe Biden. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-9821-7402-6.
  6. ^ "June 17, 2007 Evan Osnos Chicago Tribune, Beijing Bureau Chief". Q & A. C-Span.
  7. ^ Osnos, Evan (January 27, 2017). "I'm alive because my father, a Jewish refugee born en route from Poland, was allowed into America in 1944. My generation owns today's shame". Twitter.
  8. ^ "Albert Sherer Jr., Helsinki Negotiator". Chicago Tribune. December 29, 1986.
  9. ^ Marchant, Robert (October 10, 2021). "Author who grew up in Greenwich explains the hometown visits he made for his new book, 'Wildland'". Greenwich Time. Retrieved March 6, 2024.
  10. ^ Slocum, Bill (May 2014). "Human Interest: After more than a decade of living in the Middle East and Communist China, The New Yorker journalist Evan Osnos has plenty of stories involving danger and intrigue. But it's the story of a nation's rebirth that fascinates him the most". Greenwich Magazine. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Mallozzi, Vincent (July 8, 2011). "Sarabeth Berman, Evan Osnos". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "New Yorker Staff Writer Evan Osnos delivers the 2013 Morris Lecture". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University:Online. November 12, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  13. ^ McKenzie, Hamish (July 16, 2012). "The New Yorker's Evan Osnos on How Sina Weibo Changes Lives in China". PandoDaily. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "July 30th, 2007". Colbert Report. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "March 11, 2011". Colbert Report. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "The 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winners Investigative Reporting". Columbia University, 709 Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway New York, NY 10027.
  17. ^ "Why Do You Have to Go and Make Things So Complicated? 467: Americans in China". This American Life. Chicago Public Media & Ira Glass. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  18. ^ "Jesus in China". pbs.org/frontlineworld/. WGBH educational foundation. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  19. ^ Osnos, Evan. "Letter from China". The New Yorker:Online. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  20. ^ Pomfret, John (May 16, 2014). "Review: 'Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China' by Evan Osnos". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  21. ^ "THE WHITMAN BASSOW AWARD 2011". opcofamerica.org. Overseas Press Club. April 25, 2012.
  22. ^ "Asia Society Awards Osborn Elliott Journalism Prize To Evan Osnos For Examining The Global Effects of China's Growth". Asia Society. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  23. ^ "Finalist: Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, by Evan Osnos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  24. ^ Wertheimer, Linda (April 3, 2014). "Chemical Spill In W. Va. Tests Tolerance For Big Coal". NPR - Morning Edition. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  25. ^ Topaz, Jonathan (July 21, 2014). "New Yorker profile: 15 Bidenisms". Politico. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  26. ^ "Publishers Weekly". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  27. ^ Harvard Book Store, Review of Wildland: The Making of America's Fury, New Hardcover - Nonfiction / Politics, Harvard.com, accessed 2021.11.07
  28. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - Books - Oct. 3, 2021 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 30, 2023.
  29. ^ David Shipler and Daniel Zwerdling, What do poor blacks, hedge fund executives, and coal miners have in common?, Interview of Evan Osnos, Two Reporters, October 2021
  30. ^ Chen, Te-Ping (May 6, 2014). "Writing China: Evan Osnos, 'Age of Ambition'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  31. ^ David Leonhardt (January 3, 2018). "特朗普是如何为中国送上大礼包的". NYTimes.com. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  32. ^ Osnos, Evan (October 23, 2023). "China's Age of Malaise". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  33. ^ Osnos, Evan (July 9, 2023). "Wes Moore Would Like to Make History". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved October 24, 2023.

External links[edit]