Lee Sandlin is an award-winning journalist and essayist who was born in Wildwood, Illinois, and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He briefly attended the University of Chicago and Roosevelt University before leaving school to travel and write. He lives in Chicago.
His essay “Losing the War,” first appeared in 1997, subtitled "World War II has faded into movies, anecdotes, and archives that nobody cares about anymore. Are we finally losing the war?" It has been on university reading lists and praised in blogs of both anti-war activists and neocon crusaders. A segment was adapted for broadcast by the public radio show “This American Life” and anthologized by its host, Ira Glass in a 2007 collection, “The New Kings of Nonfiction.”
“Saving His Life,” his biography of his father-in-law, a Russian emigre who grew up in China, recently published in a limited edition by Sherwin Beach Press.
The Distancers (2004) chronicles the American Midwest of several generations, as reflected in the history of a single house. His most recent works are “Wicked River,” a narrative history of the Mississippi River in the 19th century; “Storm Kings,” a history of tornado chasing; and a revised, expanded version of “The Distancers.” An exhaustive survey of his other interests can be found on the Enthusiasms page.
Lee passed away unexpectedly on December 14, 2014.
Talks and interviews
Afternoon Shift, WBEZ Chicago - January 11, 2012 Interview with Niala Boodhoo on the history of tornado tracking
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Critical Thinking, WFMT Chicago - September 23, 2013 Interview with Andrew Patner
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Chicago Writers Conference - October 26, 2014 In "Beyond Google: Researching Non-Fiction," Lee and High Rise Stories author Audrey Petty spoke about their research methods and preferences
University Center 525 S State St, Chicago