McKay Coppins Award-winning Journalist and New York Times Bestselling Author

About the Author

McKay Coppins is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he is a leading voice in the magazine’s coverage of politics, religion, and national affairs. A former visiting fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, Coppins has appeared in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and is the recipient of the 2019 Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association for his profiles of figures in the Trump Administration, and the 2021 Wilbur Award for his Atlantic essay “The Most American Religion” on Mormonism.

His New York Times bestseller, Romney: A Reckoning, illuminates the life of one of America’s most fascinating political figures. Drawing from personal journals, emails, and exclusive interviews with Romney, his family, and his inner circle, Coppins unveils the enigmatic politician’s private thoughts as he wrestles with the choices he has made over his career.

The book traces Romney’s early life and rise through the ranks of a fast-transforming Republican Party and exposes how a trail of seemingly small compromises by political leaders has led to a crisis in democracy. Ultimately, Romney: A Reckoning is a redemptive story about a flawed politician who summoned his moral courage just as fear and divisiveness were overtaking American life. The book was named one of the best books of 2023 by the New Yorker and NPR. Coppins is also the author of The Wilderness, a 2015 book about the battle for the future of the Republican Party which was excerpted in the Washington Post and named one of the best nonfiction books of the year by Buzzfeed.

Coppins is an experienced public speaker whose areas of expertise include digital media, American culture, politics, religion, and narrative journalism. He has had notable appearances on shows such as Late Night with Seth Meyers, Amanpour & Company, CBS News, CNN, and MSNBC and he has hosted segments at The Atlantic Festival. In addition, he has been heard on NPR’s Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and On Point. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his wife and children.

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Suggested Topics

  • Lessons on Leadership: Coppins draws on more than a decade of experience interviewing the most influential decision-makers in politics, business, media, and more to share insights on how to be a successful leader without losing yourself. Using the compelling stories of his subjects—including cautionary tales and aspirational anecdotes—Coppins explores the pitfalls and personal costs of power, and shares lessons on how to avoid them.

  • Romney: A Reckoning
  • The Wilderness
  • The 2024 presidential election
  • The press in an age of partisan propaganda and disinformation
  • America’s crisis of democracy
  • The intersection of religion and politics
  • Mormonism’s third century
  • Politics
  • Digital Media
  • Narrative Journalism

Raves and Reviews

Engrossing…one of the best political books I’ve read in years, and it provides key insights into how drastically the Republican Party has shifted in the decade since Romney was its presidential nominee.”
—Scott Detrow, host of NPR’s All Things Considered

Revealing…Romney: A Reckoning is in many ways a straightforward biography, but it has the intimacy of a small subgenre of political confessions…throughout Coppins’s narrative Trump, the supposed billionaire, morphs from comic relief into devouring nemesis….While should-have-known-better Republican colleagues waffled…Romney kept his head above the fetid waters.”

—Tom Mallon, New York Times

A scoop-rich biography…An especially clear window onto the forces that over the last decade have transformed the GOP….Coppins gained extraordinary access…The tell-all tales gush forth.”

—Los Angeles Times

Rare access…a reminder that meritocratic success in business is not easily translatable into democratic politics. What lessons should one draw from a wealthy, talented and decent man who attempts to lead a political party in the throes of a populist revolt? Above all, take care not to sacrifice one’s family, faith, and integrity.”

Wall Street Journal

An astonishing, nearly unprecedented catalog of intraparty critique… it’s also, and maybe all the more importantly, a deft study of the capacity for rationalization…this is what makes this book so interesting, and also important.”


A rare feat in modern-day political reporting: an account in which the subject engages in actual introspection.”

New Yorker

The soon-to-be ex-senator shared a vast trove with biographer McKay Coppins for this book [which] has already scored in the marketplace of tittle-tattle, yielding several items worthy of Page Six, if not Page One. Coppins adds considerable value.”

Washington Post

A complex book about a complex man, one that provides an unusually revelatory look at a prominent political figure’s private views and inner conflicts.”

—Boston Globe

[A] probing biography…a penetrating analysis of the ongoing Republican civil war through the eyes of one of its last embattled centrists.”

Publishers Weekly

A memorable distillation of a life in politics, of the tension between high principle and unseemly justification. It’s a tension Romney has navigated better than most, in part for his willingness to acknowledge its existence.”

—Carlos Lozada, New York Times

A must-read for anyone interested in how the Republican party morphed from the part of Lincoln into a Trumpian mess.”

The Guardian

In the Media


Books by McKay Coppins


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