Michael Walsh (author)

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For other people named Michael Walsh, see Michael Walsh (disambiguation).

Michael A. Walsh (born October 23, 1949[1]) is a music critic, author, screenwriter, and media critic.


After graduating from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York in 1971, he became a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in February 1972, where he shared the New York State Publishers Association first prize for reporting with two colleagues for a series of articles about heroin in Rochester. In May, 1973, at the age of 23, he became the paper's classical music critic.

Walsh was named chief classical music critic of the San Francisco Examiner in November 1977, where in 1980 he won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for music criticism. He became music critic of Time magazine in the spring of 1981,[2] where his cover story subjects included James Levine, Vladimir Horowitz and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

From 1997-2002 he was a visiting fellow of the University Professors, Professor of Journalism and Professor of Film & Television at Boston University. For several years he served as Vice President of the board of the Wende Museum, devoted to East German and Soviet art, artefacts and scholarship, in Culver City, California, and is currently a member of the advisory board. He has lectured widely, both in the U.S. and abroad, including presentations in Tokyo, Japan; Munich, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary, where he appeared in January 2015, under the auspices of the Danube Institute.

Since February, 2007, Walsh has written for National Review both under his own name and using a fictional persona named David Kahane, the name of which "...is borrowed from a screenwriter character in (the movie) The Player." [3] This persona has evolved into one of "...a Hollywood liberal who has a habit of sharing way too much about the rules by which they live to a conservative audience." [4]

In January, 2010, in collaboration with Andrew Breitbart, he launched BigJournalism.com, devoted to media commentary and criticism. From December 3, 2010, to the summer of 2013 he contributed a weekly opinion column for the New York Post,[5] and in late June 2012 became a featured columnist at PJ Media, where his political and social commentary appears almost daily.

His newest work of non-fiction, The Devil's Pleasure Palace, a literary study of the Frankfurt School, was published in August 2015 by Encounter Books. Shortly after publication, it shot to No. 1 on the Amazon Philosophy/Criticism best-seller list.



  • Carnegie Hall: The First One Hundred Years (Harry N. Abrams, 1987)
  • Who's Afraid of Classical Music (Fireside Books, 1989)
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber: His Life and Works (Abrams, 1989, updated 1997)
  • Who's Afraid of Opera? (1994)
  • So When Does the Fat Lady Sing? (Amadeus, 2008).
  • Rules for Radical Conservatives (as David Kahane; Ballantine, 2010)
  • The People v. the Democratic Party (Encounter Broadside, 2012)
  • The Devil's Pleasure Palace (Encounter Books, 2015)


  • Exchange Alley (1997), a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection upon publication that has since become a cult novel
  • As Time Goes By (sequel to the film Casablanca, 1998)
  • And All the Saints (2003), a fictionalized account of Owney Madden's life that was a 2004 American Book Awards winner.

Espionage thrillers[edit]

  • Hostile Intent, featuring the character of "Devlin," a top-secret operative of the Central Security Service, was published in September 2009 by Pinnacle. It reached No. 1 on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list upon its release, and twice appeared on the New York Times's extended bestseller list in October of that year.
  • A sequel, Early Warning, was published in September 2010.[6]
  • The third book in the series, Shock Warning, was published in late September, 2011, and two other installments are scheduled.


Cadet Kelly, a 2002 Disney Channel Original Movie (co-written with Gail Parent) starring Hilary Duff was, until High School Musical, the highest-rated Disney Channel movie in history.


Walsh recently completed Hard Headed Woman, a biopic of the rockabilly singer, Wanda Jackson, for LD Entertainment. Other scripts in development include How High the Moon, about the lives of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday (Mike Medavoy and Debra Martin Chase, producers); Hound and Horn, set in 1940s Marseilles; the Cold War film, Charlie; and Maamtrasna, set in rural 19th-century Ireland and slated for production in 2016. His Cold War script, Charlie, (Mikael Hafstroem, director) is currently in the financing stage

His principal residence is in Lakeville, Connecticut.


External links[edit]