Mark Danner Home Page: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

The Art of the Rewrite. Mark Danner Practicum: Perfecting the Craft

How does a writer move from rough draft to final product? On these pages, writer, editor, and MacArthur Fellow Mark Danner edits his video interview with Harry Kreisler (March 1999). On the following pages, Danner's responses have been divided into two columns: on the left is the original transcription; on the right, his perfected version of the text. See also the transcribed text of the interview, with video links: Being a Writer.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I am Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Mark Danner, a staff writer for the New Yorker specializing in foreign affairs. He has worked on the staff of the New York Review of Books, as senior editor of Harper's Magazine, as foreign affairs editor of The New York Times Magazine. He has co-written and co-produced two hour-long, award-winning documentaries for ABC News Peter Jennings Report. Mark is a frequent contributor to major magazines and is a frequent guest on news analysis television programs. He is the author of The Massacre at El Mozote and Beyond the Mountains: The Legacy of Duvalier. During the 1998-99 academic year he is a visiting professor at the School of Journalism and the Human Rights Center.

  1. Background
  2. Writing about History
  3. Writing as Reportage
  4. Writing as a Creative Act
  5. The Use of Words
  6. Coaxing Out the Story
  7. Advice to Students

See also: the Mark Danner page, with links to another interview on policy and to articles by Danner.

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