Seth Mnookin: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Seth Mnookin

Best-Selling Author & Journalist

Seth Mnookin is the award-winning author of three books. His most recent book, The Panic Monster: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, is a groundbreaking blend of current events, scientific history, and sociology. It chronicles more than a quarter-century’s worth of fears that childhood vaccines cause a range of developmental disorders and health problems. Despite the lack of corroborating evidence, these fears have been popularized by media personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Jenny McCarthy and legitimized by journalists who claim that they are just being fair to “both sides” of an issue about which there is little debate. Meanwhile millions of dollars have been diverted from potential breakthroughs in autism research, families have spent their savings on ineffective “miracle cures,” and declining vaccination rates have led to outbreaks of deadly illnesses like Hib, measles, and whooping cough. Most tragic of all is the increasing number of children dying from vaccine-preventable diseases. Mnookin uses interviews with parents, public-health advocates, scientists, and anti-vaccine activists to tackle a fundamental question: How do we decide what the truth is? The fascinating answer helps explain everything from the persistence of conspiracy theories about 9/11 to the appeal of talk-show hosts who demand that President Obama “prove” he was born in America.

In 2006, Mnookin published Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, which was a Top-Ten New York Times bestseller. Feeding the Monster chronicled the transformation of the Boston Red Sox from a “cursed” team, forever in the shadow of the New York Yankees, to the most successful Major League Baseball franchise of the 21st century. The book resulted from Mnookin’s work as the first-ever reporter to be given unfettered access to the inner workings of a professional American sports team, from the clubhouse to the front office. It’s a behind-the-scenes account that shows how ownersled the Red Sox to unprecedented popularity, spectacular on-field success, and greater profitability, and how a cutting-edge organization can seemingly outwit its competition at everything from evaluating talent to running its business operations and still be caught unprepared for the difficulties that come with success.

Mnookin’s first book was 2004’s Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media. It uses the plagiarism and leadership scandals that engulfed The Times in 2002 and 2003 to draw a unique portrait of an American institution in crisis, and it puts the struggles of the paper in context of the rapidly changing world of journalism. It’s a definitive story of journalism’s triumphs and tragedies, not just at The New York Times but in the press as a whole.

In addition to his work as a best-selling author, Mnookin is an award-winning journalist who has written for many of the country’s most respected publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York, Slate, Wired, and Spin. He graduated from Harvard College in 1994 with an honors degree in History and Science, and was a 2004 Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Interested in booking Seth Mnookin to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

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  • The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear
  • Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top
  • Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media

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