I've been a freelance journalist for more than 30 years. My most recent book, A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa, was published by W. W. Norton in July 2012. The book is a nonfiction historical adventure that recreates the journey of Heinrich Barth, one of Africa's greatest explorers yet nearly forgotten today. The Boston Globe named Labyrinth one of the best nonfiction books of 2012.
My upcoming book is about another man forgotten by history, though he was once world famous as "the great American scout." A Splendid Savage: the Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham will be published by W. W. Norton in January 2015.
My first book, Code Name Ginger: the Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World (Harvard Business School Press, 2003), was selected by Barnes & Noble for its Discover Great New Writers award. Harper published the paperback under the title Reinventing the Wheel.
I've written for Smithsonian, National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Wall Street Journal, Yankee, National Wildlife, The Ecologist, Plenty, BBC Wildlife, and many other magazines and newspapers. I am an adjunct professor at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. After graduating from the University of Detroit, I taught literature and writing at the University of Connecticut while earning a Ph.D. I've received several awards for my work, as well as a grant from the W. Alton Jones Foundation for an environmental investigation in Bolivia.
I live in West Hartford, Connecticut, with my wife Judith Kaufman, a studio goldsmith.