Shirley Christian

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Shirley Christian "is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. Her most recent book, Before Lewis and Clark: The Story of the Chouteaus, the French Dynasty that Ruled America’s Frontier, was published in April 2004 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Previously, she was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, The Miami Herald and the Associated Press.

"She lived and worked in numerous countries of Latin America for nearly 20 years, and in New York and Washington, winning the Pulitzer for international reporting in 1981 for articles published in The Miami Herald about the wars in Central America. Her first book, Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family, was published in 1985 by Random House.

"Shirley Christian was born in a farmhouse in Pettis County, Missouri, and grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, where she attended public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in language and literature from Pittsburg (Kan.) State University in 1960 and a master’s degree in international journalism from Ohio State University in 1966. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University during the 1973-74 academic year.

"In addition to books and her work on newspapers, Shirley Christian has written magazine articles for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and other publications. She was an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University and the University of Kansas." [1]


In 2006, Louis Proyect noted that with regard to Marc Cooper's "disinformation" reporting on Venezuela, he commented that he was "performing the same role on his blog and in the pages of the LA Times that people like Shirley Christian carried out in the NY Times in the 1980s. It is not a pretty sight. [2]

Writing in 1998, Edward Herman commented that: "Just as Richard Burt was hired in the 1970s to provide the proper accelerated Cold War thrust in Pentagon reporting, so during the Central American wars of the 1980s, the Times deliberately hired and fired to achieve a policy line that accommodated the Reagan-Bush support of contra terrorism and the violent regimes of El Salvador and Guatemala. The firing of Raymond Bonner and installation of Shirley Christian, James LeMoyne, Mark Uhlig, Bernard Trainor, Lydia Chavez, and Warren Hoge assured this apologetic service." [3]

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  1. Biography, Shirley Christian, accessed October 13, 2008.
  2. Marc Cooper and term limits in Venezuela, Louis Proyect, accessed October 14, 2008.
  3. Edward Herman, "All The News Fit To Print (Part I): Structure and Background of the New York Times", Z Magazine, April 1998.