Bill Carter: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Bill Carter

Award-Winning Filmmaker, Journalist, & Author

Bill Carter is the director of the award-winning documentary film Miss Sarajevo, which includes personal accounts from his experiences delivering aid to the besieged city of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. In completely extraordinary circumstances, during the war Carter established a “live” satellite feed between the people of Sarajevo and European concerts of the rock band U2. For Sarajevans, this was an opportunity to speak to millions of young people about life under siege and destruction of Sarajevo, and helped to spur world action to end the conflict. Carter also established a contact with MTV, through which Sarajevans had an opportunity to address an audience of 100 million people during an inedited two-hour “window.”

Carter has since held more than 50 lectures at universities such as Harvard, New York University & Boston College - showing his film “Miss Sarajevo,” talking about the war in Bosnia, among other topics. In 2009 he was given honorary citizenship to Sarajevo - an honor normally bestowed upon heads of state (he is the second journalist to receive the honor, after Christiane Amanpour).

Carter’s first book, Fools Rush In, is about his experiences hand-delivering 1,200 tons of food during the Bosnian War and takes the reader on an emotional journey from Alaska to Sarajevo to the Southwest and back again. The memoir, to which Jim Harrison describes as, “a memoir of grand dimension and its consciousness will become part of your life,” is a story of passionate love, tragic loss and the difference a single person can make - even when the odds seem insurmountable.

Carter’s second memoir Red Summer is the true story of his experience set net fishing in Egegik, Alaska on the shores of Bristol Bay over the course of four seasons. The book chronicles the extreme physical and mental exhaustion involved in harvesting wild salmon from the largest and most sustainable fish run in the world. The memoir follows the rugged sea captain Sharon Hart who is both revered and highly respected for her skill and experience in a profession mostly dominated by men. Carter has since become an expert on the Pebble Mine issue that threatens the entire Bristol Bay fishery.

Carter’s latest book Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper the Metal that Runs the World is a sweeping account of civilization’s complete dependence on copper and what it means for people, nature, and our global economy. Copper is a miraculous and contradictory metal, essential to nearly every human enterprise. For most of recorded history, this remarkably pliable and sturdy substance has proven invaluable: not only did the ancient Romans build their empire on mining copper but Christopher Columbus protected his ships from rot by lining their hulls with it. Today, the metal can be found in every house, car, airplane, cell phone, computer, and home appliance the world over, including in all the new, so-called green technologies.
Yet the history of copper extraction and our present relationship with the metal are fraught with profound difficulties. Copper mining causes irrevocable damage to the Earth, releasing arsenic, cyanide, sulfuric acid, and other deadly pollutants into the air and water. And the mines themselves have significant effects on the economies and wellbeing of the communities where they are located.

Starting in his own backyard in the old mining town of Bisbee, Arizona—where he discovers that the dirt in his garden contains double the acceptable level of arsenic—Carter follows the story of copper to the controversial Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia; to the “ring” at the London Metal Exchange, where a select group of traders buy and sell enormous amounts of the metal; and to an Alaskan salmon run threatened by mining. Boom, Bust, Boom and his presentations on the topic are part social history, part mining-town exploration, and part environmental investigation.

In the past 15 years Carter has traveled to more than 45 countries and has written for magazines including Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Gear and Spin - and has directed short documentary films for Emmylou Harris and Calexico.

Carter currently lives in Arizona.

Interested in booking Bill Carter to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

(866) 248-3049

  • Fools Rush In: One Activist Can Make a Difference
  • Boom, Bust, Boom: The Effects of Copper Mining on Communities, the Environment and Society
  • Environmental Threats Posed By Industry
  • Miss Sarajevo: The Bosnian Conflict and Lessons for the World Today

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