The Most Hated Lawyer in America

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair March 1992 It’s a quiet Sunday morning in the nearly deserted Greenwich Village town house of attorney William Kunstler. In the stillness, the answering machine clicks on and there’s a quiet woman’s voice speaking, calmly, patiently...

The Ballad of Willie Nelson

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair November 1991 The night before I left for South Texas to join Willie Nelson as he went back on the road again to sing for the I.R.S., I had dinner with a woman from L.A. who’d known him. She told me a fascinating story about Willie Nelson,...

Against Normalization: The Lesson of the “Munich Post”

By Ron Rosenbaum LARB February 5, 2017 TRUMP/HITLER?   [This article was first published just weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration.]    The Trump-Hitler comparison. Is there any comparison? Between the way the campaigns of Donald Trump and Adolf...

Hitler Continued

By Ron Rosenbaum LARB June 10, 2014 RON ROSENBAUM’S 1998 book, Explaining Hitler, is a critique of “Hitler studies,” the term coined by Don DeLillo, and it remains for me a key experience in my life-long reading about the Third Reich. In the book Rosenbaum assessed...

The Connoisseur of Scoundrels

By Ron Rosenbaum Manhattan Inc. May, 1987 The scene: an informal dinner party on the rooftop of a brownstone in the East Seventies. The people (with one exception): congenial, civilized, charming. The conversation: charming, civilized, congenial. Until … until someone...

Melancholy Baby

By Ron Rosenbaum Esquire October 1985 Let’s get sad. Let’s get very, very sad. Let’s get profoundly sad. Let’s talk about the saddest songs ever sung. In fact, let’s not just talk about them. Let’s get inside them. Let’s crawl inside the very chord structure of...

Tales from the Cancer Cure Underground

By Ron Rosenbaum New West November, 1980 …terrible apprehensions were among the people. —Daniel Defoe A Journal of the Plague Year The captain rapped on the door of my hotel room promptly at 6 a.m. He was eager to get this expedition under way. He had a decision to...

All Power, No Lunch

By Ron Rosenbaum Manhattan Inc. November, 1984 “That’s Barbara Walters over there,” Roy Cohn tells me, pointing helpfully to the other corner table along the front wall of Le Cirque. The second-best corner table. Roy’s got the best, the one with the wide-angle view of...

Kim Philby and the Age of Paranoia

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine July 10, 1994 The Heart of the Matter The presence of the Philby papers in London was still a closely guarded secret when I stumbled on them through an inadvertent slip by Graham Greene’s nephew. I’d found him, the nephew,...

The Devil in Long Island

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine August 22, 1993 “He wondered every once in a while what life would be like without a second story and how it was people managed to get along in ranch-style or split-level houses without running amok once a year or so.” ...

Shakespeare in Rewrite

By Ron Rosenbaum The New Yorker May 13, 2002 In 1997, when Harold Jenkins, the editor of the Arden “Hamlet,” a leading scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s play, went to see Kenneth Branagh’s film version of “Hamlet,” he was both excited and...

The Essential Ron Rosenbaum: Part One

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader April 20, 2020 Ron Rosenbaum is in the pantheon of great non-fiction writers alongside Wolfe, Didion, Trillin, Talese, and Thompson. He’s been a newspaper columnist, a virtuoso magazine feature and profile writer, and author of...