Michael Goldfarb (author and journalist)

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Michael Goldfarb (born 20 September 1950 in New York City) is an American author, journalist and broadcaster based in London since 1985. He is best known for his work for National Public Radio.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Michael Goldfarb was born in New York City and grew up in suburban Philadelphia. Upon graduating Antioch College, he returned to New York to work as an actor. Under the name Michael Govan he appeared in productions at Long Wharf Theatre and Arena Stage. In 1984-85 he was a founding member of the Pearl Theatre Company in Manhattan. He is Jewish.[2]


In November 1985, Goldfarb moved to London to pursue a career in journalism. He reported on the arts for British and American newspapers, particularly The Guardian and Newsday. He became a critic for BBC Radio 4 and this work led him into broadcast journalism with National Public Radio (NPR).

From 1990 to 1998, Goldfarb worked for NPR, from 1996 to 1998 as its London Bureau Chief. He covered British politics, the Royal Family and the five-year-long peace process in Northern Ireland for, but also reported from Bosnia and Iraq. Throughout this period he also worked with the BBC and in 1994 won British radio's highest honor, the Sony Award, for his essays on the American Midwest, titled Homeward Bound.

In 1999 he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

In 2000 he joined the Boston public radio affiliate WBUR, as Senior Correspondent for the documentary series Inside Out. Goldfarb's programs won numerous awards including the DuPont-Columbia award for Surviving Torture: Inside Out; the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for Ahmad's War: Inside Out; and the Overseas Press Club's Lowell Thomas Award for British Jihad: Inside Out.

He is currently London Correspondent of GlobalPost,[3] an essayist for BBC Radio 3, and a regular panelist on the BBC News programme Dateline London. He is also the host of the FRDH Podcast.


While covering the Iraq War as an unembedded reporter in Iraqi Kurdistan, Goldfarb worked closely with the Iraqi newspaper editor Ahmad Shawkat. Following Shawkat's assassination in October 2003, Goldfarb wrote the story of his friend's life. Ahmad's War, Ahmad's Peace: Surviving Under Saddam, Dying in the New Iraq was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2005.[4][5]

The author's most recent book, Emancipation: How Liberating Europe's Jews From the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance, is a popular history of how Jews and European society were changed by the opening of the ghettos during the era of Jewish emancipation which began during the French Revolution.


External links[edit]