Date: March 10, 2011
Time: 7 pm
Topic: Fire on the Horizon
Organization: Politics & Prose
Location: Washington Post
In this speech: Shroder speaks about his book, “Fire on the Horizon,” about the Gulf oil disaster, and what really caused the blowout and who was really responsible. It’s not what you think.
Tom Shroder is an award-winning journalist, writer, and editor for more than 30 years.
As editor of The Washington Post Magazine, he conceived and edited the story, Fatal Distraction. Written by award-winning journalist Gene Weingarten, the article probed the case where a toddler named Chase died in a hot car after his father accidentally left him there in the summer of 2008. The story asks: “Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?”
It was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Shroder also edited and contributed to Pearls Before Breakfast, which was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
In addition to being an author and editor of narrative journalism, Shroder is one of the foremost editors of humor in the country. He has edited humor columns by Weingarten, Dave Barry, and Tony Kornheiser. And, he conceived and launched the internationally syndicated comic strip, “Cul de Sac,” by Richard Thompson.
Shroder is also the author of three books, including his most recent, written with former oil-rig captain John Konrad, “Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster.” It was singled out among all the Gulf oil disaster books by the LA Times, which said that it “marries a John McPhee feel for the technology to a Jon Krakauer sense of an adventure turned tragic.”
His most recent editing project, “Top-Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State,” by Dana Priest and Bill Arkin, was a New York Times bestseller. Shroder was born in New York City in 1954, the son of a novelist and a builder, and the grandson of MacKinlay Kantor, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his civil war novel “Andersonville.”
He attended the University of Florida where he became editor of the 22,000-circulation student daily newspaper despite the fact that he was an anthropology major (an affront for which the university’s journalism faculty was slow to forgive him). After graduation in 1976, he wrote national award-winning features for the Fort Myers News Press, the Tallahassee Democrat, The Cincinnati Enquirer and the Miami Herald.
Shroder is also known for his creation, along with Barry and Weingarten, of the Tropic Hunt, which has become the Herald Hunt in Miami and the Post Hunt in Washington, a mass-participation puzzle attended by thousands each year.