"The Atlantic has a national constituency of readers
who are interested in high-quality writing about what's going on in the
country and in the world," says Nicholas Lemann, "not just in politics and
economics but also in their own personal lives. The Atlantic is a single
source they can really trust to give them what they want."
Over the years, Lemann has written cover articles on the underclass,
the War on Poverty, and the history of standardized testing in the United States.
The articles on the underclass were "field tests," he
says, for his best-selling book The Promised Land (1991), which received
virtually unanimous acclaim from a spectrum of sources. The book
established him as a sought-after commentator on race relations and other
fundamental aspects of American society. "Thanks to Lemann, white America
will never be able to think about the ghetto poor in quite the same way
again," Esquire observed.
Lemann joined The Atlantic Monthly as national correspondent in 1983. His
first cover article, "In the Forties" (January, 1983), introduced a
striking portfolio of photographs that, Lemann wrote, "have the power to
suggest the finality with which the life of the nation changed in a
Lemann has also written numerous pieces in The Atlantic Monthly on
subjects spanning national and local politics, education, television, and
biography. He has contributed numerous book reviews and, in the Travel section,
has guided readers through the past history and present beauty of the
Lemann was born and raised in New Orleans. He attended Harvard, graduating
in 1976 with a degree in American history and literature. Before joining
the staff of The Atlantic Monthly, he worked at The Washington
Monthly, Texas Monthly, and The Washington Post.