Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent book is High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, published by Simon & Schuster in April 2021 — the learnings from which she will use to frame the opening presentation in the Chautauqua Lecture Series’ week on “Many Americas: Navigating Our Divides,” discussing how such learnings can inform where we as a nation must move forward in both agreement and in disagreement.
Ripley’s first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why, was published in 15 countries and turned into a PBS documentary. Her next book, The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way, was a New York Times bestseller. For The Atlantic and other outlets, she has written feature stories on how journalists could do a better job covering controversy in an age of outrage, on the least politically prejudiced town in America and on the strange history of state laws that punish teenagers for acting like teenagers. Her work has also appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Politico, The Guardian and the Times of London. Her stories helped Time win two National Magazine Awards.
Ripley started her journalism career covering courts and crime for Washington City Paper, where she had the great fortune to work for the brilliant and generous editor David Carr. She then spent 10 years working for Time in New York, Washington and Paris. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Cornell University.
This program is made possible by Phyllis Schultz and Matt Gromet and the Marjorie and Frank Sterritte Memorial Lectureship.