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Joel Swerdlow
Photograph by Steve McCurry
 

Joel Swerdlow was born in Washington, D.C., and spent part of his childhood in Burma. He completed undergraduate work at Syracuse University in political science and received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1974. Early in his career Swerdlow covered the Watergate trial and the White House for National Public Radio. He has published articles in many American newspapers and periodicals, including Harper’s, Wilson Quarterly, and Rolling Stone. Swerdlow is the author or editor of eight books. In May 1988 NBC produced a movie based on his book To Heal a Nation: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Swerdlow’s recent work in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine includes “The Power of Writing,” in August 1999, “Making Sense of the Millennium,” in January 1998, “New York’s Chinatown,” in August 1998, and “Vincent van Gogh: Lullaby in Color,” in October 1997. His December 1994 story, “America’s Poet: Walt Whitman,” was a 1994 National Magazine Award finalist. Swerdlow also explored the millennium for nationalgeographic.com. His latest book, Nature’s Medicine: Plants That Heal, will be published soon by National Geographic Books. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and their two sons.

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