Karl E. Meyer

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Karl E. Meyer (born 1937) is an American-based journalist. The third generation of his family to be engaged in that occupation, Meyer's grandfather, George Meyer, was the editor of the leading German language newspaper in Milwaukee, the Germania; his father, Ernest L. Meyer, was a columnist for The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin and then the New York Post.

Early life and education[edit]

Meyer was born in Madison, Wisconsin. His career in journalism began while as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his junior year, he became the editor of The Daily Cardinal, the student newspaper, while serving as the campus correspondent of the Milwaukee Journal. During his senior year, he edited the university literary magazine, The Athenaean.[citation needed] He received his MPA (Master of Public Affairs) from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. After being awarded a Proctor Fellowship, he earned a Ph.D. in politics), also from Princeton University.[citation needed]


After graduation in 1956, his career in foreign affairs began for The Washington Post. He also wrote a weekly column from America for the New Statesman. Meyer won an Overseas Press Club award for his coverage of Latin America,[citation needed] and during the Cuban revolution he interviewed Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. From 1965 to 1970, he was the Post’s London bureau chief where he became a weekly regular on the BBC and a character in the humor magazine Private Eye. In 1968, he covered the Soviet invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia. Returning home in 1970, he headed the Post’s New York bureau.

Meyer was a television columnist and contributing editor of The Saturday Review from 1975 to 1979 and a contributing editor of Archaeology from 1999 to 2005. He joined The New York Times editorial board in 1979, where he served until 1998 as the senior writer on foreign affairs and was a frequent contributor to the "Arts and Ideas" section. He was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1977 to 1983.[1] After his retirement from the Times, Meyer became editor of the World Policy Journal, published quarterly by the World Policy Institute, a position he held until 2008, when he became editor emeritus.

Meyer has been a visiting professor at Yale University, Tufts University’s Fletcher School, Bard College, and the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton. He is a fellow of Green College, Oxford University, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and Davenport College, Yale. He has served as judge for the Peabodys, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Arnold Toynbee History Prize.[2] He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association.


  • with Shareen Blair Brysac.The China Collectors: America's Century-Long Hunt for Asian Art Treasures. New York: St Martin's Press, 2015.[3][4]
  • with Shareen Blair Brysac. Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds. New York: Public Affairs, 2012.[5]
  • with Shareen Blair Brysac. Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East. New York: Norton, 2008.
  • The Dust of Empire: The Race for Mastery in the Asian Heartland. New York: Public Affairs, 2003.
  • with Shareen Blair Brysac. Tournament of Shadows: The Race for Empire in Central Asia. Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 1999.
  • Pundits, Poets and Wits: An Omnibus of American Newspaper Columns. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
  • The Art Museum: Power, Money, Ethics: a Twentieth Century Fund Report. New York: Morrow, 1979.
  • Teotihuacan. New York: Newsweek, 1973. ISBN 978-0-88225-084-7.
  • The Plundered Past. New York: Atheneum, 1973.
  • The Pleasures of Archaeology: A Visa to Yesterday. New York: Atheneum, 1970.
  • Fulbright of Arkansas: The Public Positions of a Private Thinker. Washington, DC: R. B. Luce, 1963.
  • with Tad Szulc. The Cuban Invasion: The Chronicle of a Disaster. New York: Praeger, 1962.
  • The New America: Politics and Society in the Age of the Smooth Deal. New York: Basic Books, 1961.

Personal life[edit]

Meyer is married to Shareen Blair Brysac, with whom he has co-authored two books. He has two sons, Ernest and Jonathan, and a daughter, Heather.


  1. ^ "The Peabody Awards". peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "About the Foundation". toynbeeprize.org. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Authors Shareen Blair Brysac & Karl E. Meyer on Their New Book, The China Collectors". Westport Library. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Q. and A.: Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac on ‘The China Collectors’ New York Times. access date: 26 May 2015
  5. ^ "Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac Discuss "Oases of Civility" with Dylan Radigan, Brian Lehrer - World Policy Institute". worldpolicy.org. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 

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