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Charles Kaiser

Award-winning Author & Journalist; Expert on the Media, Politics, the 1960s, and Gay Life in America

Award-winning Author & Journalist; Expert on the Media, Politics, the 1960s, and Gay Life in America

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Charles Kaiser Biography

Charles Kaiser is an expert on the media, politics, the 1960s, and gay life in America through his three-decade career as a journalist and author. He is a former reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and was the press critic at Newsweek. He is the author of The Gay Metropolis, the landmark history of gay life in America (Lambda Literary Award winner), 1968 in America, and wrote the afterword to the recently republished seminal gay essay, On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual by Merle Miller. Kaiser has appeared on The Colbert Report, NBC’s Today Show, Charlie Rose, the PBS documentary The Sixties, The Rachel Maddow Report, and VH1’s Behind the Music. A sought-after keynote speaker, Kaiser has spoken at Yale University, Aetna Diversity Day, the annual convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and is ideal for college campuses, arts and lecture venues, and libraries.

Kaiser started writing for the New York Times while still an undergraduate at Columbia College. He spent five years there as a reporter on the Metro staff, covering City Hall, the environment, and State Supreme Court, among other beats. He then became the press critic at Newsweek for two years. He also wrote about media and publishing for the Wall Street Journal. His writing has appeared in New York, The New York Observer, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian of London, and Manhattan,inc, among many other publications. Kaiser was a founder and former president of the New York chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He has taught journalism at Columbia and Princeton, where he was the Ferris Professor of Journalism.

The Gay Metropolis, a New York Times Notable Book, is the compelling social and political history that begins with World War II, when the United Stars Army acted as the “great, secret, unwitting engine of gay liberation in America” — by creating the largest concentration of gay men and lesbians inside a single institution since the founding of the republic. By melding the personal stories of people as famous as Leonard Bernstein and as little known as Sandy Kern, a Brooklyn girl who first heard the word “lesbian” when a neighbor spied her with her arm around her girlfriend at the end of a wartime blackout, Kaiser provides his readers with the sights, sounds, scents, thoughts, and feelings of gay life in America since 1940. He also analyzes the most significant social and political events to shape gay culture — everything from the original production of West Side Story (the creation of four gay, Jewish men) to the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Lawrence v. Texas, in 2003, the most important legal victory in the history of the gay movement in America.

First published in 1988, 1968 In America remains one of the definitive texts about the culture and politics of the 1960s. A compelling work of popular history, it is used in college courses across the country. The book covers the presidential campaigns of Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy in depth, as well as the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the riots at Columbia University in the spring of 1968, and the eruptions in the streets outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It also covers everything from the Tet Offensive, which transformed America’s attitude toward Vietnam, to the C.I.A’s extensive experiments with LSD. (The intelligence agency called the drug a “potential new agent for conventional warfare.”)

Kaiser was born in Washington D.C. and grew up there and in Albany, N.Y., Dakar, Senegal, London, England, Windsor, Conn., and New York City. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Kaiser’s next book is The Cost of Courage, about a French family in the Resistance in Paris during World War II, to be published by The Other Press.

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Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 06/17/2024.

Charles Kaiser Speaking Topics

  • Why George Orwell is the Greatest Journalist of the 20th Century

  • The Decline and Fall of the Press

  • How the 1960s SavedAmerica

  • Gay Life in America Since Stonewall

  • The Gay Marriage Revolution: How The Right to Marry Has Radically Altered What It Means to be Gay and American in the 21st Century

Charles Kaiser Videos

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    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Charles Kaiser for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Charles Kaiser, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Charles Kaiser or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Charles Kaiser

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  • What topics does Charles Kaiser speak about?

    Charles Kaiser is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, College, Commencement, Culture, Diversity, Education, Journalism, Literary, News & Media, Political.
  • Where does Charles Kaiser travel from?

    Charles Kaiser generally travels from an undisclosed location, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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Charles Kaiser is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Why George Orwell is the Greatest Journalist of the 20th Century, The Decline and Fall of the Press, How the 1960s SavedAmerica, Gay Life in America Since Stonewall and The Gay Marriage Revolution: How The Right to Marry Has Radically Altered What It Means to be Gay and American in the 21st Century. The estimated speaking fee range to book Charles Kaiser for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Charles Kaiser generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are George P. Bush, John Zogby, Jalen Rose, Juan Williams and Tim Wise. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Charles Kaiser for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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