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Patrick Radden Keefe Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Patrick Radden Keefe
Patrick Radden Keefe was born in 1976 grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts going to Milton Academy and he attended college at Columbia. Patrick was the oldest of three siblings. His dad worked in state government before becoming a real estate developer, and his mom was a philosophy professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

He got masters degrees from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University, and a JD from Yale Law School.

Throughout his studies, he would pitch stories to The New Yorker as well as other publications, but never got any assignments. He framed a rejection letter from The New Yorker he got in 1998 and hung it up in his home office. Eventually, he took one year off from law school and worked on a book about government eavesdropping, called “Chatter”, on a New York Public Library fellowship which was directed by Jean Strouse, a biographer.

She became his mentor, and he started writing for Slate, The New York Review of Books. However, he still was unsure if he could write full-time. He went back to Yale, finished up his degree and began studying for the New York bar exam. Along the way, he became fascinated by Sister Ping’s trial, a woman that was accused of smuggling in Chinatown. Once more, he pitched The New Yorker. This time around, he was approved.

He began contributing to The New Yorker in the year 2006 and has written investigative narrative nonfiction on various subjects, like the tragic personal history of a mass shooter named Amy Bishop to the hunt for Chapo Guzman the drug lord.

Still, he juggled other jobs along with his writing, which includes working at the Pentagon and the progressive think tank, the Century Foundation, before he got hired to work at The New Yorker in the year 2012. Each of these experiences helped his reporting, as he loves legal documents, probably more than the next reporter does.

He has a childlike suggestibility where if you tell him that you know some secret and won’t tell what it is, he is going to do all that he can to figure out what this secret is. And anybody that has read something he has written, it might be a bit obvious that he has a passion of unearthing that which is hidden.

Patrick’s wife is a lawyer and he refers to what she does as real work. His job on the other hand is just something that he actually loves and doesn’t even think of it as work. It drives his kids and wife a bit crazy. If they have some downtime on a weekend, he will vanish back upstairs and begin digging through some old court files or attempt to find some contact info for a person he is looking for. He does that because it’s just so fun for him.

Patrick received the 2014 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, for his story “A Loaded Gun”, and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in both 2015 and 2016. Say Nothing received the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. It was also selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the ‘Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the entire decade.

He was also a recipient of an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at the New America Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, along with others.

Patrick also wrote and hosted an eight part podcast series from Crooked Media, Pineapple Street Studios, and Spotify, called Wind of Change. It investigates the odd convergence of pop music and espionage during the Cold War. In 2020, the podcast was named the #1 podcast by Guardian.

“Say Nothing” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2019. In December of 1972, Jean McConville (age thirty-eight and mother of ten) was yanked out of her Belfast home by some masked intruders with her kids clinging to her legs. They would never see her again. Her kidnapping was one of the most notorious episodes of the savage conflict known as The Troubles. Everybody in the neighborhood knew that the IRA was responsible for it. However in a climate made up of paranoia and fear, nobody would talk of it.

In the year 2003, five years after the accord brought the uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a series of human bones were found on a beach. Jean’s kids knew that it was their mom when they were informed that a blue safety pin was attached to the dress, with so many kids, she always kept it on hand for any ripped clothes or for diapers.

Patrick’s mesmerizing book on the bitter fight in Northern Ireland as well as its aftermath uses the McConville case as a place to start for the story of a society that is wracked by the violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences haven’t ever been reckoned with. This savage violence seared not just people like the McConville kids, however also IRA members that are embittered by the peace which fell very short of a goal of a wholly united Ireland, and it left them all wondering about whether or not the killings that they committed weren’t justified acts of war, however just simple killings.

“Empire of Pain” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2021. This book is an extension of Patrick’s “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain”, which was originally published in New Yorker in 2017.The highly anticipated portrait of three different generations of the Sackler family.

The Sackler name adorns the walls of such storied institutions like: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, Harvard, and Oxford. They are one of the wealthiest families in all of the world, known for their lavish donations to the sciences and the arts.

The source of this family’s fortune was vague, however, until it was uncovered that the Sacklers were responsible for marketing and producing OxyContin, which is a blockbuster painkiller which was a catalyst for the opioid crisis.

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