SELECTED WRITINGS

 

ESSAY ON WRITING
 
Past Imperfect: Lives in the Biographer’s Mirror
New York Times
February 18, 2015
link

 

PROFILES
 

Keeping the Faith
Profile of Pete Seeger
Horizon Magazine
October 1981
pdf
 

Conversations from a Room
Profile of Leonard Cohen
Canadian Forum
August-September, 1983
link

 

A Conversation with Eugene P. Odum, Whole-Earth Mentor
Natural History
Oct. 1998,
pdf
 

ARTICLES AND ESSAYS
 

Life on the Line
Following the San Andreas Fault
Image (San Francisco Examiner Sunday Magazine)
Nov. 10, 1985
pdf
 

Fantastic Voyage
A Memoir
Oxford American
2007
pdf
 

The Interstates Turn 50
Time Magazine
June 26, 2006
link
 

The Truth about Elections
Montesquieu’s Enduring Lessons
Time Magazine
Jan. 23, 2005
pdf
 

Mitt Romney: The Second Coming of James K. Polk
Atlantic Magazine
Oct. 3, 2012
link
 

Attila the Hunk
Smithsonian
March 2001
pdf
 

The Shore Dimly Seen
Recovering From Brain Surgery
New York Times Magazine
April 1, 2007
link
 

Snapshots in Quartz
California Magazine
May 1984
pdf
 

Witness to a Lost Rite
Painter George Catlin Among The Mandan
National Geographic Adventure
October 2000
pdf
 

Tree Climbers Are Happy Out on a Limb
Sports Illustrated
Oct. 10, 1988
pdf
 

OP-EDS
 

Sing It Again for Us, Ol’ Blue Eyes
Sinatra at 80
Newsday
Dec. 12, 1995
pdf
 

Still Blowin’ in Wind
Bob Dylan At 60
Philadelphia Inquirer
Jan. 24, 2001
pdf
 

Wild Horses Couldn’t Drive Them Off Stage
The Persistence of the Rolling Stones
Los Angeles Times
Nov. 6, 2005
link
 

Of Rebel Raiders and the West
California and the Civil War
Los Angeles Times
Feb. 6, 2006
link
 

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES’s “DISUNION” SERIES
ON THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

How Douglass Came Around to Lincoln
New York Times on-line
December 7, 2014
link
 

How Manhattan Drum Taps Led
Walt Whitman, Bohemianism and The Coming of the Civil War
New York Times on-line
Oct. 12, 2011
link
 

The Southern Mathew Brady
Civil War-era Photography Below the Mason-Dixon
New York Times on-line
Feb. 11, 2011
link
 

Abe Lincoln and Filibuster Fever
The President and Latin America-bound Clandestine Armies
New York Times on-line,
Jan. 11, 2011
link
 

The Messianic Schoolmaster
Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison
New York Times on-line
Dec. 29, 2011
link
 

Frederick Douglass’s Irish Liberty
An Abolitionist Abroad
New York Times on-line
Feb. 25, 2011
link
 

The Secrets of the Shenandoah
Confederate Raiding Ship
New York Times on-line
Oct. 12, 2013
link
 

BOOK REVIEWS
 

Pete Hamill’s Why Sinatra Matters
LA Weekly
May 12, 1999
link
 

Novel Paints Partial Portrait Of City
Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jan. 11, 1999
pdf
 

What the Explorers Saw
Daniel B. Botkin.’s Our Natural History
Audubon Magazine
Nov.-Dec. 1995.
pdf
 

 

 

Before Tom Chaffin wrote books, he worked in journalism—as a staff writer for newspapers in Savannah and Atlanta, as a fact-checker for Esquire magazine, in New York, and, in San Francisco, as a contributor to Pacific News Service. For most of those years, however, from successively San Francisco, Paris and Atlanta, he was a full-time magazine free-lancer. He still, on occasion, writes for magazines and newspapers. Here’s a selection of pieces—recent and not so recent.