I received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1998. After working on local newspapers and small magazines, I joined the Guardian from 2000 to 2006, working in a variety of editing roles, including deputy letters editor, before going freelance. I have continued to contribute to the Guardian and its sister paper the Observer, and my work has appeared in other media outlets, including BBC Radio 4 and Vox.
• I reviewed Sudhir Hazareesingh’s ‘Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture’ for Prospect magazine (UK).
• Here is a recent piece on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing, written for the Observer (UK).
• I was in Cuba in December 2019, and found the mood dramatically transformed since the thawing of relations that I saw on a trip there in 2014. Read about Cuba’s troubled 2019 here. You can read a travel piece about Havana’s Spanish past that I wrote for Timeless Travels magazine here. Since that trip, I have reviewed Ada Ferrer’s Cuba: An American History, a comprehensive history of the island, and Will Grant’s ¡Populista!, which covers the Castro era and that of five other key Latin American leaders in recent times.
• I wrote a piece for the Daily Beast about the border wall and how it is obscuring the long, complicated history between the United States and Mexico. Read here (paywall). On a related theme, I contributed an essay to Tomas Van Houtryve’s Lines and Lineage.
• I reviewed Jorge Castañeda’s America Through Foreign Eyes for the Guardian, where I also wrote about Marie Arana’s Silver, Sword and Stone: Three Crucibles of the Latin American Story. In Literary Review (paywall), I discuss Sarah Rainsford’s Our Woman in Havana: Reporting Castro’s Cuba.
• This piece I wrote for Vox, in the aftermath of hurricane Maria, examines the historical roots of the complex relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. I also spoke about this history on KCSB in Santa Barbara. You can listen here.
In La Frontera, for BBC Radio 4, I go to Arizona to find out what the impact of a border wall with Mexico would be.
Here’s a related piece I did for the Observer.
You can read more of my print and online journalism for the Guardian and Observer by following this link.
Elsewhere in the US, I wrote a travel piece about Montgomery, Alabama, for Timeless Travels magazine, which you can read here. And I discuss the history of the US holiday of Columbus Day for the Daily Beast here.