Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

 

Barlett Steele portrait

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele are one of the most widely acclaimed investigative reporting teams in American journalism. They have worked together for more than three decades, first at The Philadelphia Inquirer, (1971-1997) where they won two Pulitzer Prizes and scores of other national journalism awards, then at Time magazine, (1997-2006) where they earned two National Magazine Awards, becoming the first journalists in history to win both the Pulitzer Prize for newspaper work and its magazine equivalent for magazine reporting, and now at Vanity Fair as contributing editors. They also have written seven books.

 

Donald L. Barlett

Barlett

Barlett was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania, on July 17, 1936, and he grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He attended Pennsylvania State University and served three years as a special agent with the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps. Barlett began his journalism career in 1956 as a general assignment reporter at the Reading (Pennsylvania) Times, and later held a similar position at the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. In 1965, he began working as a full-time investigative reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and subsequently moved to similar positions at the Chicago Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer before joining Time in 1997. In 2006, he became a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. Barlett is married and has a son and a stepson.

 

James B. Steele

Steele

Steele was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on January 3, 1943, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. A graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, he began his journalism career at the Kansas City Times, where he covered labor, politics and urban affairs before moving to The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1970. After 27 years as an investigative reporter at The Inquirer, he joined Time in 1997. In 2006, he became a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. Steele is married and has a daughter.

 

What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele are revisiting America: What Went Wrong, their landmark 1991 newspaper series, in a new project with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Over the next year, the project team will examine how four decades of public policy has shaped America's ongoing economic crisis.

Issues

Back Story

The authors talk about What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele talk about the project, and why they decided to revisit a book they wrote two decades ago, in a series of video clips produced by the Workshop.

Nation's Story

Who pays the taxes?

Who pays the taxes?

We feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. This column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

Rags to rags: Economic mobility hard to come by

New Pew Center on States report confirms that moving up the American economic ladder is difficult, even though most people have more income than their parents.

Homelessness takes it toll on Florida's youngest

Florida, as a center of the housing boom, still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Financial stresses and widespread foreclosures have placed families in precarious situations, resulting in a spike in child homelessness. Susannah Nesmith reports in the Broward Bulldog.

Older workers face challenges in Silicon Valley

An advanced degree and experience in the tech sector should be a ticket to a job in today's economy. But older workers in the heart of the new economy, Silicon Valley, are finding their resume is not the issue. Aaron Glantz reports in The Bay Citizen.

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Read an Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

Check out the first chapter of Barlett and Steele's 2012 book here.