Books by Scott Anderson

SCOTT ANDERSON is a veteran war correspondent and contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. His work also appears in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's, Outside, and many other publications. Over the years he has reported from Beirut, Northern Irela


HISTORY
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"A lively, contrasting study of hubris and humility."
A well-fleshed portrait of T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) brought in burnished relief against other scoundrels in the Arabian narrative. Read full book review >
MOONLIGHT HOTEL by Scott Anderson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 2006

"Not quite equal, therefore, to Robert Stone or Ward Just, but very much worth reading. "
American intervention in the Middle East is the explosive subject of this ambitious second novel from the former war correspondent turned nonfiction writer and author of the memorable 1998 debut novel, Triage. Read full book review >
TRIAGE by Scott Anderson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 1998

A powerful exploration of war's effects on those who survive it, and specifically of the devastating ambiguities of "survivor's guilt"—in a first novel by a journalist heretofore known for his 1997 Harper's article "Prisoner of War" and other reports from such fronts as Bosnia and Chechnya. The story begins in Kurdistan under Iraqui attack, where "war photographer" Mark Walsh, wounded by artillery fire, has survived, though separated from his colleague and close friend Colin, and traumatized more than he knows. Neither the fatalistic acceptance of the Kurdish doctor who treats him nor his return home to New York and his lover Elena forestalls Mark's increasingly debilitating disorientation and physical lassitude. Then, to Spanish-born Elena's dismay, her grandfather Joaquin Morales learns of Mark's condition, and arrives from Spain prepared to "purify" him—as, we learn in carefully spaced narrative disclosures, Joaquin had done during the Spanish Civil War. He had run an "institute" then dedicated to rehabilitating members of Generalissimo Franco's notorious "blood squads"—and Elena has never forgiven "the Fascist Father Confessor.— As this harrowing tale moves toward an overpowering conclusion, Mark and Joaquin together—and Elena observing and loving them both—painstakingly accomplish conscience's intricate balancing act: accepting responsibility for one's mistakes while simultaneously forgiving oneself for living, and for being unable to save those who died. Triage is superbly conceived and plotted, and written in an understated prose that wrings great resonance from delicately placed simple sentences (as Mark laboriously makes love, "His back arched and Elena imagined blood spraying inside him"; as they lie in bed, "Elena heard the soft brush of his eyelashes against the pillow, knew he was still looking out at the night—). A magnificent homage to the method, subject, and spirit of another Scribner author, Ernest Hemingway, that reads, and feels like, a contemporary A Farewell to Arms; it really does. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

Incredible but true tale of a renegade Mormon family and its bloody criminal empire. The murders—four killings at three different Texas locations on June 27, 1988—are but the latest in a demented tale that, according to free-lancer Anderson (The Nation, The Boston Globe, etc.), goes back three generations and more. The saga began in the early years of the Mormon Church, when Joseph Smith established plural marriage and Brigham Young followed up with ``blood atonement,'' the doctrine that apostates to the faith must be killed (both practices were soon dropped by the official Church). A century later, a Mormon named Dayer LeBaron received visions calling him to a new life as a prophet-polygamist in Mexico, where he and his brothers established a fundamentalist cult. For unknown reasons, the family began to disintegrate: Several members wound up in mental hospitals; many of the rest became killers. In time, the mantle of prophecy landed on Dayer's son, Ervil, who satisfied his lust for power and sex with a dozen wives and a killing spree that began by targeting his brother Joel. As Ervil's murderous ``cleansings'' multiplied, other brothers, daughters, and wives, as well as disaffected followers, became victims. When Ervil died in prison, he passed on a 50-name hit-list and the mantle of the ``One Mighty and Strong'' prophet to other LeBarons, who today carry on the bloody family ways. Anderson tells his gripping tale with overwhelming detail, dollops of melodrama (lots of biblical parallels, like Ervil-Joel/Cain-Abel), and an eye for the seamier aspects. He also seems uneasy with the traditional Mormon Church, and baits its current leadership (``as much as Mormon officials might wish otherwise...'') more than once, a crudity that—along with the emphasis on sex and violence—may turn away some readers. Wins weirdness awards for true crime and religion: a double-whammy for a story of considerable energy but little finesse. Read full book review >