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Jeffrey Goldberg
Goldberg with President Obama at the Oval Office, 2014
Born Jeffrey Mark Goldberg
September 22, 1965(1965-09-22) (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
  • Journalist
  • writer
Title Editor-in-chief of The Atlantic[1]
Political party Democratic[2]
Spouse(s) Pamela Ress Reeves (m. 1993)
Children 3
Awards National Magazine Award, Overseas Press Club's Joe & Laurie Dine Award
Jeffrey Goldberg's personal website

Jeffrey Mark Goldberg (born September 22, 1965) is an American journalist and editor-in-chief of The Atlantic magazine. During his nine years at The Atlantic prior to becoming editor, Goldberg became known for his coverage of foreign affairs. He has won many awards and written eleven cover stories for the magazine.

Early life and education

Goldberg was born to a Jewish family[3] in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Ellen and Daniel Goldberg,[4] whom he describes as "very left-wing."[5] He grew up in suburban Malverne on Long Island, where he recalled being one of the few Jews in a largely Irish-American area. Retroactively, when describing his first trip to the Israeli state as a teen, Goldberg has claimed that he was "a powerless 13-year-old boy suffering at the hands of Irish pogromists, juvenile pogromists," and that he found the Jewish empowerment embodied by Israeli soldiers exciting, "So, I became deeply enamored of Israel because of that."[5]

He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Pennsylvanian.[6] While at Penn he worked at the Hillel kitchen serving lunch to students. He left college to move to Israel, where he served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a prison guard during the First Intifada at Ktzi'ot Prison, a prison camp set up to hold arrested Palestinian participants in the uprising. There he met Rafiq Hijazi, a Palestine Liberation Organization leader, college math teacher and devout Muslim from a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, whom Goldberg describes as "the only Palestinian I could find in Ketziot who understood the moral justification for Zionism".[6]

Goldberg lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Pamela (née Ress) Reeves, and their three children.[4][7]


Goldberg returned to the United States and began his career at The Washington Post, where he was a police reporter. While in Israel, he worked as a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and upon his return to the US served as the New York bureau chief of The Forward, a contributing editor at New York magazine, and a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine.[8][9][10] In October 2000, Goldberg joined The New Yorker.[8]

In 2007, he was hired by David G. Bradley to write for The Atlantic. Bradley had tried to convince Goldberg to come work for The Atlantic for nearly two years, and was finally successful after renting ponies for Goldberg's children.[11] In 2011, Goldberg joined Bloomberg View as a columnist,[12] and his editorials are also syndicated online, often appearing on such media sites as Newsday[13] and Newsmax.[14] Goldberg concluded writing for Bloomberg in 2014.[15]

Goldberg was a journalist with The Atlantic before becoming editor-in-chief.[10] Goldberg wrote principally on foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa.[8]

Michael Massing, an editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, called Goldberg "the most influential journalist/blogger on matters related to Israel,"[16] and David Rothkopf, the CEO and editor of the FP Group, called him "one of the most incisive, respected foreign policy journalists around."[17] He has been described by critics as a neoconservative,[18] a liberal,[19] a Zionist[20] and a critic of Israel.[21] The New York Times reported that he "shaped" the magazine's endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States, only the third endorsement in the magazine's 160-year history.[10]

Notable articles

"The Great Terror", The New Yorker, 2002

In "The Great Terror", Goldberg investigates the nature of the Iraqi Army's chemical attack on the Kurds in Halabja in 1988 that resulted in the deaths of between 3,200 and 5,000 people and injured 7,000 to 10,000 more, most of them civilians.[22][23]

"The Great Terror" won the Overseas Press Club's Joe & Laurie Dine Award for international human rights reporting. In a March 2002 CNN interview, former CIA director, James Woolsey said, "I think Jeff Goldberg's piece is quite remarkable, and he and The New Yorker deserve a lot of credit for it."[24]

"In the Party of God", The New Yorker, 2002

In October 2002, Goldberg wrote a two-part examination of Hezbollah, "In the Party of God."[25] Part I recounts his time in the village of Ras al-Ein, located in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, meeting with Hezbollah officials, including Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, Hezbollah's former spiritual leader, and Hussayn al-Mussawi, founder of the now-defunct pro-Iranian Islamist militia Islamic Amal in 1982.[25] Part II examines Hezbollah's activities in South America, specifically in the area known as the Triple Frontier, a tri-border area along the junction of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil."[26]

In 2003, "In the Party of God" won the National Magazine Award for reporting.[27][28]

"The Hunted", The New Yorker, 2010

In April 2010, Goldberg published "The Hunted", a New Yorker article on Mark and Delia Owens, a conservationist couple based in Zambia, who resorted to vigilantism in an effort to stop elephant poachers in North Luangwa National Park.[29] Goldberg chronicles the Owens’ attempts to counter the poachers’ activity in Zambia in the 1970s/80s, which began with creating incentives such as bounty programs for the park’s scouts, but as the poaching continued, the Owenses methods turned more confrontational. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat praised "The Hunted", noting that “Goldberg builds an extensive, persuasive case that the Owenses' much-lauded environmental activism in the Zambian hinterland led to at least one murder, and maybe more.”[30]

"The Point of No Return", The Atlantic, 2010

In September 2010, Goldberg wrote the cover story for The Atlantic, which examined the potential consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.[31] Based on his interviews with high level Israeli and American government and military officials, including, Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Ephraim Sneh, Ben Rhodes, Rahm Emanuel, and Denis McDonough, Goldberg writes, "I have come to believe that the administration knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program; and Obama knows—as his aides, and others in the State and Defense departments made clear to me—that a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious threat to the interests of the United States, which include his dream of a world without nuclear weapons."[31]

After reading the article, Fidel Castro invited Goldberg to Cuba to talk about the issue.[32] Goldberg published a series of articles on their interviews, including Castro's views about anti-Semitism and Iran,[32] Soviet-style Communism,[33] and theories on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.[34] When asked by Goldberg if the Soviet-style Communism was still worth exporting, Castro famously replied that "the Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."[33]

"The Modern King in the Arab Spring", The Atlantic, 2013

In April 2013, Goldberg published an article on the Jordanian King Abdullah and his government's approach to reform in the wake of the 2011 protests around the Arab world.[35]

In discussing a meeting between the King and the Jordanian tribes, Goldberg quotes the King as saying "I'm sitting with the old dinosaurs today."[35] This quote garnered controversy when published, and the King's Royal Court issued a statement claiming the article contained many "fallacies" and that his words "were taken out of their correct context."[36] However, in defending the accuracy of his quotes, Goldberg later tweeted, "I just spoke to a top official of the Jordanian royal court. He said they are not contesting the accuracy of quotes in my Atlantic piece."[36]

"Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?", The Atlantic, 2015

In April 2015, Goldberg published "Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?".[37] Goldberg's essay explores the state of the Jewish communities across Europe, especially in light of the resurgence of anti-Semitism and attacks against Jews in Europe.[38][39]

Historian Diana Pinto, who is of Italian Jewish descent, wrote a rejoinder to Goldberg's article in The New Republic, arguing that his article is excessively dire. She wrote: "If a plaster cast may be permitted to speak, I would say that Goldberg and his colleagues aren’t describing my reality; the world I come from isn't already destroyed; and the story of the Jews in Europe isn't yet ready to be relegated to museums or to antiquarian sites like Pompeii."[40]

President Barack Obama

President Obama Interviews (2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Goldberg has conducted five major interviews with President Barack Obama since 2008.[41][42][43][44][45] Goldberg's interviews have centered around President Obama's views on U.S.-Israel relations, Zionism, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and other issues concerning U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa.[41]

Peter Baker, the White House correspondent for The New York Times, recommended Goldberg's interviews with President Obama, writing, "For much of his time in office, President Obama has been having sort of a running conversation about the Middle East with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, one of the premier writers on the region based in Washington. In this latest interview, Mr. Obama defends his approach to the war against the Islamic State, warns Arab leaders not to pursue nuclear programs to match Iran and discusses his feud with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Along the way, Mr. Obama and Mr. Goldberg hash over the nature of the sometimes turbulent Israeli-American relationship."[46]

"The Obama Doctrine", The Atlantic, 2016

In April 2016, Goldberg published "The Obama Doctrine", which was featured as The Atlantic's April 2016 cover story. This essay covers many foreign policy issues, including his views of the U.S. role in Asia, the Middle East, ISIL, Russia, and Europe, focusing on the nature of American leadership in these different regions and the relative power that the United States wields in developing and executing policies that reflect American interests abroad.[41]

Goldberg's "The Obama Doctrine" was praised for its detailed accounting of the president's foreign policy views and sparked a debate about Obama's foreign policy legacy. Brian Katulis, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "Jeffrey Goldberg's analysis of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy ("The Obama Doctrine") is required reading for those looking at the big picture on U.S. national security."[47]

In a response piece in The Atlantic, Martin Indyk praised the article, writing, "Jeffrey Goldberg’s fascinating article taps into President Obama's thinking about foreign policy and reveals its wellsprings. In that sense, he does more to help the president define and explain 'the Obama Doctrine' than previous efforts by the White House itself, captured in those memorable lines 'don’t do stupid shit' and 'leading from behind', which do not do justice to a doctrine that is both complicated and far-reaching in its implications for American foreign policy."[48]

Other interviews

Goldberg has conducted interviews with President Barack Obama,[45] Hillary Clinton,[49] David Cameron,[50] John Kerry,[51] Benjamin Netanyahu,[52] Isaac Herzog,[53] Marco Rubio,[54] Chris Christie,[55] Ashton Carter,[56] Ben Rhodes,[57] Yair Lapid,[58] Michael Oren,[59] King Abdullah of Jordan,[35] Ta-Nehisi Coates,[60] David Gregory,[61] and Tom Cotton,[62] among others.

Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide

Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide (New York: Knopf, 2006), describes Goldberg's experiences in Israel working at the Ketziot military prison camp as well as his dialogue with Rafiq, a prisoner whom Goldberg would later befriend in Washington, DC.[63][64][65]

The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times named it one of the best books of 2006.[66][67][68]

The Los Angeles Times critic wrote, "Realization of the humanity of the ‘other’ is at the heart of New Yorker magazine correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg's sharply observed and beautifully written memoir."[69] The New York Times critic wrote, "Mr. Goldberg, a talented and ambitious writer for the New Yorker ... takes an engagingly personal approach to the issue in his story of a quest for mutual understanding with a Palestinian activist who had been his prisoner ... For the bittersweet complexity of that moment, offered in the context of all that has preceded it, this is a genuinely admirable book."[70]

The Washington Post review of the book noted, "Prisoners is Jeffrey Goldberg's sensitive, forthright and perceptive account of his years as a soldier and journalist in Israel—and of his long-running conversation with a Palestinian whom he once kept under lock and key. It is a forceful reminder of how rewarding, and how difficult, discourse between Israelis and Palestinians can be."[71] CBS News critic wrote, "There is no shortage of histories, polemics and policy manuals about the Middle East. An honest but complex story, from what happens to be a personal perspective that many Americans can at least conjure, is a rarer opportunity for insight. And that is what Jeffrey Goldberg, a reporter for The New Yorker, delivers in Prisoners. To those of us who have followed Jeffrey Goldberg’s reporting on the Muslim world, the publication of his first book is cause for real pleasure...because his writing on the subject has always been exceptional: wise, unpretentious, and at times, unexpectedly funny."[72]

Boris Kachka, a contributing editor for New York magazine, interviewed Goldberg in October 2006 about Prisoners in addition to other issues pertaining to journalism and the Middle East.[73]

Views on Iraq

In 2002, Goldberg's "The Great Terror" published in The New Yorker argued that the threat posed to America by Saddam Hussein was significant, discussing the possible connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda as well as the Iraqi nuclear program, averring that there was "some debate among arms-control experts about exactly when Saddam will have nuclear capabilities. But there is no disagreement that Iraq, if unchecked, will have them soon ... There is little doubt what Saddam might do with an atomic bomb or with his stocks of biological and chemical weapons."[22]

In a late 2002 debate in Slate on the question "Should the U.S. invade Iraq?", Goldberg argued in favor of an invasion on a moral basis, writing, "So: Saddam Hussein is uniquely evil, the only ruler in power today—and the first one since Hitler—to commit chemical genocide. Is that enough of a reason to remove him from power? I would say yes, if 'never again' is in fact actually to mean 'never again.'"[74]

Glenn Greenwald called Goldberg "one of the leading media cheerleaders for the attack on Iraq", claiming Goldberg had "compiled a record of humiliating falsehood-dissemination in the run-up to the war that rivaled Judy Miller's both in terms of recklessness and destructive impact."[75] In 2008, in an article in Slate entitled "How Did I Get Iraq Wrong?", Goldberg explained the reasons behind his initial support of the Iraq War and wrote that he "didn't realize how incompetent the Bush administration could be."[76]



Critical studies and reviews


  1. Calamur, Krishnadev. "The Atlantic's New Editor in Chief". The Atlantic. 
  2. "List of Registered Voters". District of Columbia Board of Elections. 30 May 2016. p. 3871. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  3. Marcy, Oster (October 19, 2016). "Politico Editor Hadas Gold Gets Vicious Threats from Donald Trump Backer". Jewish Daily Forward. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Pamela Reeves, Jeffrey Goldberg". The New York Times. June 28, 1993. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ivry, Sara (October 16, 2006). "Across the Great Divide". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey (2006). Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide. New York: Knopf. p. 41. ISBN 0-375-41234-4. 
  7. "Knopf Speakers Bureau: Jeffrey Goldberg". Retrieved April 7, 2007. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Contributors". The New Yorker. // 
  9. "About Jeffrey Goldberg". Personal website. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Ember, Sidney. "Atlantic Names Jeffrey Goldberg Its Editor in Chief". Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  11. Howard Kurtz (August 6, 2007). "The Atlantic's Owner Ponies Up". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 18, 2007. 
  12. "Jeffrey Goldberg: Articles & Columns". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  13. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Goldberg: Barack Obama achieves half of his Iran goals". Newsday. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  14. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Middle East and Beyond". Newsmax. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  15. "Bloomberg View article list". Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  16. Michael Massing, "The News About the Internet", New York Book Review Volume 56, Number 13 (August 13, 2009).
  17. "In Search of the Real Barack Obama". Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  18. Greenwald, Glenn. "Jeffrey Goldberg’s gasping, dying smear tactics". 
  19. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "A Jew of the Liberal Breed" (in en-US). 
  20. "The Israeli Desert". 
  21. "US Jewry’s bad boy". Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey (March 25, 2002). "The Great Terror". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  23. "1988: Thousands die in Halabja gas attack". 1988-03-16. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  24. "Transcripts". Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey (2002-10-14). "In the Party of God". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  26. Goldberg, Jeffrey (2002-10-28). "In the Party of God". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  27. Jeffrey Goldberg, "In the Party of God, Part One", The New Yorker October 14 and October 21, 2003; accessed January 22, 2007.
  28. "In the Party of God, Part Two", The New Yorker, October 28, 2003; accessed January 22, 2007; searchable database for National Magazine Awards on the website of the American Society of Magazine Editors (2003)
  29. Goldberg, Jeffrey (2010-04-05). "The Hunted". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  30. "A Killing in Zambia". Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey. "The Point of No Return" (in en-US). Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Castro: 'No One Has Been Slandered More Than the Jews'" (in en-US). Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  33. 33.0 33.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Fidel: 'Cuban Model Doesn't Even Work for Us Anymore'" (in en-US). Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  34. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Castro: 'Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy'". Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Goldberg, Jeffrey. "The Modern King in the Arab Spring". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  36. 36.0 36.1 "King Abdullah chides Atlantic interviewer". Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  37. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  38. Yardley, Jim (2014-09-23). "Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows". ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  39. Sacks, Jonathan. "Europe's Alarming New Anti-Semitism". ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  40. Pinto, Diana (2015-03-27). "I'm a European Jew—and No, I'm Not Leaving". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Goldberg, Jeffrey. "The Obama Doctrine". Retrieved 2016-03-21. 
  42. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Obama on Zionism and Hamas". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  43. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Obama to Iran and Israel: 'As President of the United States, I Don't Bluff'". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  44. "Obama to Israel -- Time Is Running Out". 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  45. 45.0 45.1 Goldberg, Jeffrey. "President Obama: The Middle East Interview". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  46. Times, The New York. "What We’re Reading". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  47. Katulis, Brian. "The Hole in the 'Obama Doctrine'". Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  48. Indyk, Martin. "The End of the U.S.-Dominated Order in the Middle East" (in en-US). 
  49. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Hillary Clinton: 'Failure' to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  50. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "David Cameron: 'I Would Be Heartbroken If Jews Left Britain'". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  51. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Kerry Warns Congress About Risk of 'Screwing' the Ayatollah". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  52. "Netanyahu Says Obama Got Syria Right". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  53. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Bibi's Opponent: 'I Trust the Obama Administration to Get a Good Deal'". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  54. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "How a President Marco Rubio Would Undo the Iran Deal". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  55. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Chris Christie: 'Iran is a Greater Threat Than ISIS'". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  56. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "The U.S. Defense Secretary: Gulf Arabs Need to Get in the Fight Against ISIS and Iran". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  57. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "White House Official: Nuclear Deal Is Best Way to Avoid War With Iran". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  58. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "'Israel Can't Absorb 3.5 Million Palestinians and Remain a Jewish, Democratic State'". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  59. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Undoing Netanyahu's Damage to U.S.-Israel Relations". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  60. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Interview With Ta-Nehisi Coates, Putative Genius". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  61. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "David Gregory's Search for God". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  62. Goldberg, Jeffrey. "Will the Iran Deal Lead to Nuclear War?". Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  63. Watzman, Haim (October 29, 2006). "The Hope: A Middle East correspondent's troubled friendship with the Palestinian he once kept locked up.". p. BW06. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  64. Hammer, Joshua (December 2006). "Stuck in the Middle East With You: Lessons from an improbable friendship". Washington Monthly. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  65. Lappin, Elena (November 12, 2006). "My Friend, My Enemy". The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  66. "100 Notable Books of the Year". The New York Times. November 22, 2006. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  67. "Holiday Guide 2006: Book World Holiday Issue". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  68. "Favorite Books of 2006: Nonfiction". Los Angeles Times. December 10, 2006. 
  69. Ellenson, Ruth Andrew (2006-10-29). "Common ground". ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  70. "Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide". Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  71. Watzman, Reviewed by Haim (2006-10-29). "The Hope". ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  72. "Intellectual Journey: Through The Mideast". Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  73. "Brave Heart: Jeffrey Goldberg". Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  74. Goldberg, Jeffrey (2002-10-03). "Should the U.S. Invade Iraq? Week 2". ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  75. Greenwald, Glenn (July 27, 2010) "The Jeffrey Goldberg Media",; retrieved July 29, 2014.
  76. Goldberg, Jeffrey (2008-03-19). "How Did I Get Iraq Wrong?". ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 

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