Roger Morris is the author of several critically acclaimed books on American politics, including Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician, 1913-1952, winner of the National Book Award Silver Medal, finalist for the National Critics Circle Award in Biography, and a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year," and Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America, a highly-praised and instant best-seller on the New York Times and other lists as well as another Times “Notable Book.” More recently, he is the co-author with Sally Denton of the controversial and the widely praised The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America, a history of the city as it silhouettes American corruption nationwide and internationally, hailed by The Los Angeles Times as "one of the most important non-fiction books published in the U.S. in a half-century," by the New York Times Book Review as "magisterial," a New York Times “Notable Book of 2001,” and a subject of an Arts & Entertainment documentary. (Review excerpts attached.)
From work growing out of a Harper’s commission after 9/11, he is completing Between the Graves—based on thousands of previously secret documents, a history of U.S.-Afghan relations and American policy and covert intervention in South Asia and the Middle East over the past half century, to be published by Alfred Knopf in 2010 with a major excerpt in Harper’s. He is also at work for Knopf on Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and Their Failed Ideals, a comparative history of the inner politics of the United States and Soviet Russia, and a major reinterpretation of their competition and its impact on the 21st-century.
His other books include The Reader's Companion to the American Presidency, Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, Haig: The General's Progress, and The Devil’s Butcher Shop: The New Mexico Prison Uprising...
He has been a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellow, and named a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Fellow of the Society of American Historians and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Among numerous honors and prizes, he has twice won the Investigative Reporters and Editors' National Award for Distinguished Investigative Journalism, including IRE's coveted Gold Medal for "the finest investigative reporting across all media nationwide." His articles on national security for the Arizona Republic and columns and reporting on local affairs in New Mexico newspapers were nominated repeatedly for the Pulitzer Prize, and he has received the International Relations Councils's Distinguished Award for International Understanding.
Born and raised in the Midwest, he holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard, served in the United States Foreign Service, on the White House Staff, and on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, until resigning over the invasion of Cambodia. As an NSC official, he was Deputy Director of Policy Planning as well as a senior officer for regional affairs, dealing with a wide variety of issues and areas from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia to Sino-Soviet affairs and the UN. One of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger's two-person Special Projects Staff, he was intimately involved in the first highly secret peace negotiations with North Vietnam to secure a U.S. withdrawal and an end to the war in Indochina prior to the Cambodian invasion in 1970.
After resigning from the White House and before turning to independent writing full time, he was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate, and went on as Director of Humanitarian Policy Studies for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to co-author two seminal, news-making books on human rights and disaster relief, Passing By, a 1973 work on the genocide in Burundi and Rwanda, and Disaster in the Desert, a 1974 study of the failures of international relief programs, both foundation-published by Carnegie..
He has taught at Harvard, the City University of New York, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Washington, lectured on campuses and spoken throughout the U.S., been a Ford Foundation Fellow at the British Museum, a Fellow of the Russian Research Center at Harvard, and for an academic year was an official Exchange Scholar at Moscow State University in the then-USSR, where he was the first American accepted to study at an Institute of the Academy of Sciences.
He has written for Harper’s, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Columbia Journalism Review, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and numerous other newspapers and magazines, including regular book reviews and op-ed articles for The Globe and Mail of Canada and feature articles on non-political themes in Architectural Digest and other periodicals. In the 1990’s, he syndicated columns, investigative reports and a radio commentary across New Mexico, and was host and co-producer of a weekly public affairs program and numerous specials for public television in Albuquerque-Santa Fe. He has been elected to national boards of Common Cause, OXFAM, and the National Council for International Visitors. Most recently, he is a founding Director of the new Madrona Institute, bringing the latest in complexity theory, Complex Adaptive Systems, and other scientific advances to the mediation of international disputes and creative new approaches to national policy issues (Madrona.org)
His study on national security policy, Strategic Demands of the 21st Century: New Vision for a New World, co-authored with Steven Schmidt, was published by the Green Institute in print and online in 2005. The 2006 documentary on US policy in Africa, Guns, Greed and Genocide, in which he played a major role, was an award-winner at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. His 2007 profiles of Defense Secretaries Don Rumsfeld and Bob Gates for TomDispatch.com gained worldwide attention. In 2009 he was chosen by the New York Times as one of five distinguished American historians to write the paper’s special 100 Days Blog, setting the new Barack Obama Administration against the perspective of earlier presidencies. He currently divides his time between the Blue Ridge and Seattle, where he is completing his forthcoming books and directing projects at the Madrona Institute.