I write about the history of business, medicine, and science, among other topics. I'm the author of 13 books, including many corporate histories, ghostwritten narratives, and trade books, as well as hundreds of articles for such publications as The Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, Wired, The Washington Post Magazine, Discover, and GQ.
Author and ghostwriter of books and more than 600 articles and essays. Two books are currently under option by movie and TV producers. Commissioned corporate histories include books about FedEx, Land O'Lakes, Andersen Windows, Mannington Mills, Jostens, Super 8 Motels, Minnesota Public Radio, and the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries. Also a teacher and presenter of writing programs at such institutions as the Mayo Clinic, the Association for Communications Excellence, the International Association of Business Communicators, the American Medical Writers Association, the American Psychological Association, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, the University of Mississippi, Carleton College, the Library of Virginia, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of Maryland, the University of Toronto, Cornell University, and many other venues.
In 1945, after his capture at the end of the Second World War, Hermann Göring arrived at an American-run detention center in war-torn Luxembourg, accompanied by sixteen suitcases and a red hatbox. The suitcases contained all manner of paraphernalia: medals, gems, two cigar cutters, silk underwear, a hot water bottle, and the equivalent of 1 million in cash. Hidden in a coffee can, a set of bra... read more
From its earliest flights in 1926, carrying mail and occasionally a solo passenger to Chicago, to its acquisition by Delta in 2010, Northwest Airlines soared to the heights of technological achievement and business innovation—and sunk to the depths of employee discord, passenger dissatisfaction, and financial bankruptcy. Its story, rich in singular successes and failures, also has the sweep of... read more
The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman’s ... read more
Believe it or not, Minnesota’s architectural landscape has included a house made from the fuselage of a B-29 bomber, a hotel that spent its final years as a chicken hatchery, a Civil War cemetery, a treehouse built and occupied year-round by an eccentric university professor, and a railway that once carried passengers up Duluth’s steep incline from Lake Superior. They are all gone now, along w... read more
Book by El-Hai, Jack
A colorful glimpse into the Minnesota Historical Society's vast collections—some 500,000 books, 37,000 maps, 250,000 photographs, 5,500 artworks, 1,650 oral history interviews, 4.5 million newspaper issues, 38,000 cubic feet of manuscripts, 45,000 cubic feet of government records, 165,000 museum objects, and nearly 800,000 archaeological artifacts—the "stuff" of history! Experience Minnesota's... read more
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