Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jonathan Alter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Born: 1957 in Chicago


Illinois Connection

Alter was born and raised in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jonathan Alter is journalist and author who was a columnist and senior editor for Newsweek magazine from 1983 until 2011. He was a lead columnist for Bloomberg View, a new commentary website. Currently, he is a columnist for the Daily Beast, a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and at work on a biography of Jimmy Carter and an HBO documentary on The great newspapermen Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill. Today, Alter lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife Emily Lazar, a former executive producer of the Comedy Central show The Colbert Report.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope
ISBN: 0743246012

Simon & Schuster. 2007

Very fine account of FDR's 100 days.

Between the Lines; A View Inside American Politics, People, and Culture
ISBN: 0681497556

State Street Press. 2008

New Hardcover with dust jacket

The Promise: President Obama, Year One
ISBN: 1439101191

Simon & Schuster. 2010

Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee.

The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
ISBN: 1451646089

Simon & Schuster. 2014

From the bestselling author of The Promise, the thrilling story of one of the most momentous contests in American history, the Battle Royale between Obama and his enemies from the 2010 midterms through the 2013 inauguration.

In The Center Holds, Jonathan Alter provides the first full account of America at the crossroads. With exclusive reporting and rare historical insight, he pierces the bubble of the White House and the presidential campaigns in a landmark election that marked the return of big money and the rise of big data. He tells the epic story of an embattled president fighting back with the first campaign of the Digital Age.

Alter relates the untold story behind Obama’s highs and lows, from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound to the frustration of the debt ceiling fiasco to his unexpected run-ins with black and Latino activists. Alter takes us inside Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s Boston campaign as well as Obama’s disastrous preparation for the first debate. We meet Obama’s analytics geeks working out of “The Cave” and the man who secretly videotaped Romney’s infamous comments on the “47 percent.”

The Center Holds deepens our understanding of the Obama presidency and the future of the country.


-- N/A