Susan Braudy

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Susan Braudy
Susan Orr

(1941-07-08) July 8, 1941 (age 78)

Susan Braudy (born Susan Orr July 8, 1941) is an American author, journalist, and former business executive. She has also published a number of books.

Early life and education[edit]

Braudy grew up in Philadelphia and relocated to Manhattan, New York,[1] and attended University of Pennsylvania and Yale University graduate schools where she studied ethics and aesthetics.[2] Between college and graduate school Braudy worked for the New York ACLU.

Braudy's father worked for the Philadelphia Housing Authority and actively supported local artists such as Dox Thrash. Bernard Orr was Vice President of the American Jewish Committee. His Master's thesis at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania became the book Technological Unemployment, an early look at how advances in technology were replacing human labor. He was the principal of a vocational night school whose students were largely African-American. He also wanted to be a writer and Braudy believes this may be the reason she became a writer. Braudy's mother Blanche Orr taught history at Germantown High School, whose students were also largely African-American, and went back to school to become a reading supervisor because her students needed better reading skills. Braudy now lives with film editor Joe Weintraub.[3]


Besides her six acclaimed books, Braudy has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, The Atlantic Monthly, The Huffington Post, Harper's Magazine, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Ms., New York Magazine, The New Journal, Jezebel and The Week.[4] She was the first woman writer hired by Newsweek where talented women had been previously relegated to jobs as fact-checkers, researchers and secretaries.[5][6]

She was one of the first editors of the student/faculty magazine The New Journal at Yale and is currently a member of the magazine's advisory board. Her cover story on Joseph Heller elicited a letter to the editor from him, "I found the article by Susan Braudy one of the most interesting and thorough I've ever read about anyone especially me." [7] Braudy believes Heller's praise was her ticket to writing for mainstream outlets such as The New York Times magazine and New York Magazine.

Braudy has taught writing at Brooklyn College. She also judged the Lukas Prize in 2006, the award from the Columbia University Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard given annually to recognize excellence in book-length investigative journalism.[8]

Braudy was an editor and writer at Ms. magazine where she edited the October 1975 men's issue whose cover featured Robert Redford's back. The issue included a "tour de force" piece by Harold Brodkey and is the magazine's highest-selling.[9]

In 1977, Braudy became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).[10] WIFP is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media.

In 1981, Braudy was appointed Vice President of East Coast Production at Warner Brothers[11][12] where she championed Oliver Stone's movie Platoon. She also worked as Vice President of Michael Douglas's Stonebridge Production Company for three years from 1986-1989[13] where she tried to convince Douglas to make the film The Hurricane, the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, and a docudrama about Martin Luther King Jr. She was hired by Francis Ford Coppola, Jerry Bruckheimer, Martin Scorsese, and Oliver Stone to write screenplays.[14]

Her in-depth piece on paperback auctions, published in The New York Times magazine,[15] was used by the Federal Trade Commission to institute and win an anti-trust suit against the high-bidder in a multimillion-dollar paperback rights auction.[16] This was reported as front-page news by The New York Times.

Her two blogs are Manhattan Voyeur[17] and Writers Celebrate Writers[18]

Braudy drew on her background studying philosophy to write prefaces to three books published by the Philosophical Library in 2012 including Essays in Aesthetics by Jean-Paul Sartre, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran, and Tears and Laughter by Kahlil Gibran.

She counts as her mentors Margaret Mead, whose class she audited at Columbia and who demonstrated by example what a bright woman on her own could be; Gloria Steinem, who encouraged her to express her female voice; Daniel Yergin, who taught her the value of infinite research; Michael Douglas, who taught her that glamour isn't glamorous; Michael Wolff, who taught her the music of the New York hustle; Marshall Brickman, who taught her about heartbreak on the fast track; and Woody Allen, who taught her his artistic credo, "Turn pain into cash."

Braudy's January 2013 letter to the editors of The New York Times Book Review critiquing their policy of not allowing colleagues to review each other's books was influential. It convinced the institution to change its policy. The letter argued that like-minded people tend to know each other. Braudy states that eliminating them as reviewers had historically skewed reviews against authors.[19]

Braudy's most recently published works include two articles for the website Jezebel, "Up Against the Centerfold"[5] (March 2016, receiving over 150,000 reads) and "'Sisters in Misery': What It Was Like to Interview Joan Didion at Home in 1977"[20] (March 2017) and one article for The Week in April 2016, "A Feminist Among the Centerfolds".[21]

Accusations against Michael Douglas[edit]

On January 18, 2018, Braudy accused former colleague Michael Douglas of sexual harassment in an article for The Hollywood Reporter. She contended that during her time at Stonebridge Productions, she was "subjected to sexual harassment by Douglas that included near-constant profane and sexually charged dialogue, demeaning comments about her appearance, graphic discussions regarding his mistresses," and finally masturbating in front of her.[22][23]

Douglas had published a preemptive denial of the claims in The Hollywood Star ten days earlier, saying he "felt the need to get ahead" and explain his concerns about the validity of the story. He stated: "I don't have skeletons in my closet, or anyone else who's coming out or saying this. I'm bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now." [24]

In popular culture[edit]

Braudy had been commissioned by Playboy magazine in 1969 to write an "objective" piece on the feminism movement. Her final article was viewed as controversial by male Playboy editors. The debate continued up to Hugh Hefner; who wrote in a memo (covertly distributed by female Playboy employees) that he felt the article needed to focus more on the "highly irrational, emotional, kookie trend" of feminism because "these chicks [are] the natural enemy of Playboy." He argued that radical feminists were rejecting the Playboy way of life.[25] Braudy was reportedly brought to tears by the harsh reaction from the Playboy team to her piece and eventually withdrew her work. She later wrote an article published in Defiance and Glamour magazine in which she analyzed the contents of Hefner's memo and criticized his approach to women.[26]

Braudy's later reflection on the Playboy incident for Jezebel, "Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969," was referenced by Pulitzer Prize-winning The New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum on her Twitter as an "amaaaaaazing," "must-read" piece.[27]

After writing an article for The New York Times[28] about Woody Allen and his writing partner Marshall Brickman she was used as the muse for Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep's characters in Manhattan.[29] Her jokes about the surreal twist were quoted on the New York Post gossip column "Page Six," as well as in People Magazine.

After she wrote two articles on Seinfeld for The New York Times,[30] writer Larry David named a screaming woman character "Susan Braudy" on his HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm.[31]


Braudy wrote Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left based on the story of Kathy Boudin, who was imprisoned for her part in the Brink's robbery (1981). Braudy was inspired to write the book because Kathy Boudin had been a classmate at Bryn Mawr.[32]

Family Circle got a "largely positive reception" despite being criticized by friends of Kathy Boudin.[33] The book was nominated by Alfred Knopf for the Pulitzer Prize. It was later the subject of a 2014 Guardian article criticizing The New York Times and others for republishing findings on the break-in of FBI headquarters in Media, Pennsylvania that damaged J. Edgar Hoover's reputation beyond repair. The break-in's perpetrators had been revealed 11 years prior by Braudy in her nonfiction book.[34]

This Crazy Thing Called Love was the basis for two television episodes on "A Crime To Remember" and "Power, Privilege & Justice."[35]

Book List[edit]

  • Between Marriage and Divorce: A Woman's Diary. New York: William Morrow, 1975. ISBN 978-0688029609.
  • Who Killed Sal Mineo? A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982. ISBN 978-0671610098.
  • What the Movies Made Me Do: A Novel. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1985. ISBN 978-0394532462.
  • This Crazy Thing Called Love: The Golden World and Fatal Marriage of Ann and Billy Woodward. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1992. ISBN 978-0394532479.
  • Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2003. ISBN 978-0679432944.
  • Kick Kennedy's Secret Diary. New York: Blanche Wolf, 2019. ISBN 978-0692167076.

Philosophical Library Books with Prefaces by Susan Braudy[edit]

  • Sartre, Jean-Paul Essays in Aesthetics. Transl. Wade Baskin. Pref. Susan Braudy. Open Road Media, 2012. ISBN 9781453228562.
  • Gibran, Kahlil. The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran. Pref. Susan Braudy. Open Road Media, 2011. ISBN 9781453235539.
  • Gibran, Kahlil. Tears and Laughter. Ed. Martin Wolf. Pref. Susan Braudy. Open Road Media, 2011. ISBN 9781453228531.

Articles and interviews[edit]


  1. ^ "Susan Braudy". Knopf Double Day Publishing Group. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  2. ^ Jean-Paul Sartre Essays in Aesthetics Open Road Media, January 12, 2012
  3. ^ Wadler, Joyce (26 June 2008). "The Tyranny of the Heirloom". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  4. ^ Sartre, Jean-Paul. Essays In Aesthetics. Open Road Media. p. Preface by Susan Braudy.
  5. ^ a b Braudy, Susan. "Up Against the Centerfold: What It Was Like to Report on Feminism for Playboy in 1969". Jezebel. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  6. ^ Braudy, Susan. This Crazy Thing Called Love: The Golden World and Fatal Marriage of Ann and Billy Woodward. Alfred Knopf. p. Author flap.
  7. ^ Braudy, Susan (2012-03-06). "I Remember Joe Heller - Part 3". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Lukas Prizes: Past Winners and Jurors". Columbia Journalism School. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  9. ^ Pogrebin, Abigail. "An Oral History of 'Ms.' Magazine". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Associates | The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  11. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (8 January 1982). "The evening hours". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Lady in Charge". The Southeast Missourian. 26 January 1981. p. 5. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  13. ^ TCM Archive Materials, "Susan Braudy", No date, Accessed 10 March 2015
  14. ^ "Susan Braudy" "Who's Who In America", No date, Accessed 10 March 2015
  15. ^ Susan Braudy, "Paperback Auction: What Price a 'Hot' Book?; Star Properties" The New York Times, 21 May 1978
  16. ^ Robert J. Cole, "U.S. Sues CBS to Undo Purchase of Fawcett Publications" The New York Times, 02 June 1978
  17. ^ Braudy, Susan. "About the Voyeur: Who is Susan Braudy?". Susan Braudy: Manhattan Voyeur. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  18. ^ Braudy, Susan. "A welcome message". Writers Celebrate Writers. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  19. ^ Braudy, Susan (2013-01-24). "Game Change". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  20. ^ Braudy, Susan. "'Sisters in Misery': What It Was Like to Interview Joan Didion at Home in 1977".
  21. ^ Braudy, Susan (2016-04-17). "A feminist among the centerfolds". The Week. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Michael Douglas, Alleged Harassment, Media and the #MeToo Moment". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  23. ^ Woods, Amanda (January 19, 2018). "Michael Douglas' sexual misconduct accuser speaks out". Page Six. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  24. ^ "Michael Douglas issues pre-emptive denial over 'sex claim'". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  25. ^ Watts
  26. ^ Pitzulo, Carrie (May 2008). "Battle in Every Man's Bed: Playboy and the Fiery Feminists". Journal of the History of Sexuality. 17 (2): 272–275. doi:10.1353/sex.0.0004. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  27. ^ "The true must-read about Hef is this amaaaaaazing piece by @SbraudyOrr...",, September 28th, 2017
  28. ^ Susan Braudy, "He's Woody Allen's Not-So-Silent Partner", The New York Times, August 21st, 1977
  29. ^ Sheila Weller, Girls Like Us, April 8th 2008
  30. ^ Susan Braudy, "Where Have You Gone, Jerry, When We Need You?" The New York Times, February 17th 2002
  31. ^ "Episode Summary - The Corpse Sniffing Dog",
  32. ^ Braudy, Susan (29 October 2014). Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780804153614 – via Google Books.
  33. ^ O'Rourke, William (July–August 2004). "Review of Susan Braudy, Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left". American Book Review. 25 (5).
  34. ^ Michael Wolff, "How an old story was reborn in the Edward Snowden era" The Guardian January 21st 2014
  35. ^ "Susan Braudy" IMDB, Accessed 10 March 2015

External links[edit]