William (Bill) McGowan is the author of three critically acclaimed and award-winning books of nonfiction: Only Man Is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992; Picador 1993); Coloring The News: How Crusading For Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism (Encounter Books, 2002) and Gray Lady Down: What The Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means For America. (Encounter Books, 2011). He is also a contributor to Clash of Identities: Essays on Media, Manipulation and the Politics of the Self. (Prentice-Hall & Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1996).
The late Ryszard Kapuscinski called Only Man Is Vile "one of the best books ever written on nationalistic, racial and religious conflict;” The Times Book Review listed Only Man Is Vile as one of its “Notable Books of the Year.” The Village Voice’s Nat Hentoff wrote that Coloring The News should be “mandatory” reading, ranking it alongside the journalism of I.F. Stone, Jimmy Breslin and Murray Kempton. Publishers Weekly predicted that Gray Lady Down was “sure to incite readers no matter what their political philosophy.” NPR’s Juan Williams called it “a “thoughtful, vividly supported expose.”
McGowan has written for a wide variety of national and international publications, including the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, New Republic, Nation, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review, Men’s Journal, Slate, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, National Review, the New York Observer and Vice. He has been an editor at the Washington Monthly and has reported for Newsweek International and for the BBC World Service. He won the National Press Club Award for media criticism in 2002 and was nominated for the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2012. Several of his literary and journalistic properties have been optioned for Hollywood development.
A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal where he has published book reviews, media criticism, cultural commentary and editorial features for over 20 years, McGowan has appeared regularly on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC, C-Span, PBS and NPR, as well as other cable and broadcast networks. He has lectured widely on media-related topics at a variety of institutions and universities, including the National Press Club, The Freedom Forum’s Newseum, the Center for Communication, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism, NYU and Yale University. A graduate of Middlebury College, he has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a Media Fellow at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University.
McGowan is at work on a memoir and on a fourth book of political nonfiction, about the US-Israel “Special Relationship.” He blogs about politics, media and international affairs at coloringthenews.blogspot.com.