Nebraska Authors

Kurt Andersen

Born 1954 Omaha, NE (USA)

Andersen was born in Omaha, and is a graduate of Westside High School. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1976, where he served as an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. In 1986, he co-founded Spy magazine with E. Graydon Carter. They sold Spy in 1991 (it died in 1998).
He began his career in journalism at Time, where during the 1980s he was an award-winning writer on politics and criminal justice before becoming, for eight years, the magazine’s architecture and design critic.
Andersen was host and co-creator of Studio 360, the cultural magazine show produced by Public Radio International and WNYC. It was broadcast on 217 stations and distributed by podcast to almost 1 million listeners each week. The show won Peabody Awards for broadcast excellence in both 2005 and 2013.
From 2001 through 2004 he served as a creative consultant to Universal Television, co-creating the Trio channel and helping to shape Universal’s other cable programming.
From 2007 to 2009 he was editor-at-large for Random House, responsible for finding, conceiving, and overseeing non-fiction books. He has been a writer and columnist for New York ("The Imperial City"), The New Yorker ("The Culture Industry"), and Time ("Spectator"). He was fired from New York in 1996 for refusing to kill a banking story that upset a publishing executive. He was also architecture and design critic for Time for nine years. His weighty novels, especially Heyday (2007) and True Believer (2013) have received stellar reviews.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Cambridge, MA
Brooklyn, NY

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Journalism


Novels; Essays; Book Reviews; Satire


High School Graduate, Westside High School, Omaha, NE
Harvard University, 1976, Cambridge, MA


Cofounder and Editor of Spy Magazine
Hosts NPR radio show called "Studio 360"

Places Worked

Random House
Time Magazine
New York Magazine


New York Times Notable Novel, Turn of the Century
New York Magazine: one of the “100 People Who Changed New York”
Forbes: one of the“25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media”


The Real Thing. 1980.
Tools of Power. 1980.
Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America. 1991.
Turn of the Century. 1999.
Riches et Celebres. 2002.
Heyday. 2007.
True Believers. 2012.
Fantasyland. 2017.
You Can't Spell America Without Me : The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody). 2017. (audiobook read by Alec Baldwin)
Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History. 2020.

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Kurt Andersen

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)