John R. (Rick) MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper's Magazine is an award-winning journalist and author. He writes a monthly column for the Providence Journal and for Canada's national newspaper, the Globe & Mail. Mr. MacArthur's first book, Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War, was a finalist for the 1993 Mencken Award for books and won the Illinois ACLU's 1992 Harry Kalven Freedom of Expression award. His critically acclaimed follow-up, The Selling of "Free Trade": NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of Democracy, published in the spring of 2000, was called "an immensely pleasurable read." by the Chicago Tribune and "illuminating" by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mr. MacArthur initiated the foundation-sponsored rescue of Harper's Magazine in 1980, and became president and publisher in 1983. Under his stewardship the magazine has received numerous awards and the support of advertisers and readers alike. Since 1994 the magazine has received nine National Magazine Awards, the industry's highest recognition. In 2003 Harper's won a National Magazine Award, for feature writing and was a finalist in the categories of general excellence, public interest, reviews and criticism, and profile writing.
Never failing to turn up the heat on any debate, Mr. MacArthur is often called upon by fellow journalists and television producers in the U.S., Canada and abroad to comment on a broad range of issues in the news. He has appeared on Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, C-SPAN and National Public Radio.
Before joining Harper's Magazine, Mr. MacArthur was an assistant foreign editor at United Press International (1982) and a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times (1979-1982), Bergen Record (1978-1979), Washington Star (1978), and Wall Street Journal (1977). He writes for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Le Temps (Geneva), The Progressive, The Nation, and The Columbia Journalism Review. Mr. MacArthur received the 1993 Mencken Award for best editorial/op-ed column for his New York Times expose of "Nayirah," the Kuwaiti diplomat's daughter who helped fake the Iraqui baby-incubator atrocity.
A tireless advocate for international human rights, Mr. MacArthur founded and serves on the board of directors of the Death Penalty Information Center and the MacArthur Justice Center. Along with members of his family he founded Article 19, the International Center on Censorship, based in London, and in 1989 he initiated and helped organize the PEN/Article 19/Author's Guild rally for Salman Rushdie. He is also on the board of directors of the Author's Guild, and the Overseas Press Club and he is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities.
Born on June 4, 1956, in New York City, Mr. MacArthur grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, and graduated in 1978 from Columbia College with a B.A. in history. Mr. MacArthur lives with his wife and two daughters in New York City.
Mr. MacArthur's new book is "You Can't Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America."