Journalist

About

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I'm a writer, editor, and researcher who has reported from North and South America, Europe, the Caribbean, and West Africa covering culture, politics, history, and identity. I've written hundreds of stories, ranging from the fight to preserve world heritage in Palmyra, Syria, to the story of the first American dictionary. I'm currently at work on a book for Dutton (Penguin-Random House) about how seemingly innocuous bestselling books have served quietly as blueprints for "the good American," molding our common language, culture, and customs.

My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The Paris Review, TIME.com, New York Magazine, The New Republic, Washington Post's The LilyFortune, Village VoiceInternational Business Times, CNN, Avidly (Los Angeles Review of Books), AFP Services, The Believer, Lapham's Quarterly, Teen Vogue, Business Insider, InStyle, DAME, Thrillist, Man Repeller, and Travel + Leisure, among others. I used to be a staff reporter at Time Inc. and International Business Times.

I studied 19th century poetry at Yale (among other amazing and profoundly impractical things). Since then I've interviewed U.N. diplomats, U.S. senators, former members of the Irish Republican Army, and the errant amateur witch. I covered the 2015 Paris attacks on the ground, meeting musicians, refugees, and other Parisians working toward the city's recovery.

I'm bilingual in French, decent at krav maga, and excellent at knitting. You can find me in the best outer boroughs of New York City and Paris.

Anna Sproul-Latimer at the Ross-Yoon Agency represents me.

Portrait by Mariah Tyler.

Highlights

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What It Was Like to Be an LGBTQ Activist Before Stonewall, June 2019

 “It was assumed we were mentally ill; it was considered that we were certainly criminals, and we     were also considered to be morally depraved. But people would still sit and listen to you, and that’s   the beginning of a conversation.”

 

 "Old Paris Is No More"

 Why did Haussmann tear down 19,000 buildings in central Paris? According to his     memoirs: “It is easier to cut through the center of the pie than through the crust.”

 

 

 

 Finding Open-Minded Health Care Abroad

 For women and L.G.B.T.Q. people, finding friendly medical care away from home can be a challenge. There are resources they can turn to.

 

 

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French writer, existentialist philosopher, political activist and feminist Simone de Beauvoir during the landmark Bobigny abortion trial in France in 1972.  How 343 Women Made French History

 How could women assert their independence in the spheres of politics and business if they could not even assert their independence over their own bodies?

 

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   The Nationalist Roots of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary  

 Nearly two centuries later, at a time when truth is increasingly undervalued and American exceptionalism is widely embraced, the dictionary takes on fresh significance.

 

Writing (By Outlet)

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 Finding Open-Minded Health Care Abroad, January 2019

 Tips for  L.G.B.T.Q. Travelers to Visit the World Safely, June 2019

 

An Online Tool to Catch Workplace Sexual Predators, January 2019

 

Related imageWhat It Was Like to Be an LGBTQ Activist Before Stonewall, June 2019

 
 

Image result for the paris review logoThe Nationalist Roots of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, March 2018

 

The French Plan to Fix Inequality — By Ignoring It, September 2018

 

Image result for the nationWhy Is Arkansas Rushing to Execute Its Prisoners? April 2017

 

 Old Paris Is No More, July 2019 

                               A Flower for Your Thoughts, January 2019

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 A Drive Through the Scottish Highlands, April 2018

Inside the Fight to Keep Liverpool's Punk Scene Alive, January 2018

Here's How Hotel Security Could Change After the Las Vegas Massacre, October 2017

Do Electronic Bans on Flights Make the U.S. Safer? March 2017

Palmyra: How a Beloved World Heritage Site Became a Battlefield, February 2017

Explore the Magical Ephemera of New York City's Biggest Prop House, February 2017

A Brief History of the Modern Suitcase, December 2016

Winemakers in Bordeaux Are Reinvigorating Their Traditional Terroir, November 2016

 

Refugee Women Are Carrying More Than An Uncertain Future, April 2016

What A Breakdown Of Free Travel Means For Europe's Economy, March 2016

French Anti-Radicalization Policy Questioned, January 2016

Beer, Wine, And Other Acts Of French Defiance, November 2015

One Syrian's Journey From Aleppo To Paris, November 2015

The Remaking Of Sinn Fein In Northern IrelandOctober 2015

See Jess' full archive from IBT here: http://www.ibtimes.com/reporters/jess-mchugh​

 

The Story Behind the Most Colorful Building in NYC, September 2016

 

Dole Back On Hill to Try and Push Through U.N. Disability Rights Treaty, July 2014

Perry to Texas Reps: Don't Approve Obama Border Proposal, July 2014

 

The Most Dangerous Moves From the Least Dangerous Game, October 2013

Writing (By Topic)

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European Affairs

How 343 Women Made French HistoryTIME

Why France Is Losing the War on Anti-Semitism, The New Republic

The French Plan to Fix Inequality — By Ignoring ItThe New Republic

Refugee Women Are Carrying More Than An Uncertain Future, International Business Times

What A Breakdown Of Free Travel Means For Europe's Economy, International Business Times

Beer, Wine, And Other Acts Of French Defiance, International Business Times

One Syrian's Journey From Aleppo To Paris, International Business Times

The Remaking Of Sinn Fein In Northern IrelandInternational Business Times

See Jess' full archive from IBT here: http://www.ibtimes.com/reporters/jess-mchugh​

Culture and History

The Nationalist Roots of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, The Paris Review

Old Paris Is No More, Lapham's Quarterly

The U.S. Census Has a Long History of DiscriminationFortune

A Flower for Your ThoughtsLapham's Quarterly

The Story Behind the Most Colorful Building in NYC, Village Voice

The Most Dangerous Moves From the Least Dangerous Game, The Believer

U.S. News and Politics

Why Is Arkansas Rushing to Execute Its Prisoners? The Nation

Dole Back On Hill to Try and Push Through U.N. Disability Rights Treaty, CNN

Perry to Texas Reps: Don't Approve Obama Border Proposal, CNN

New Security Measures Could Delay You At the Airport. Here's What to Expect, TIME

Here's How Hotel Security Could Change After the Las Vegas Massacre, Travel + Leisure

Women and Identity

An Online Tool to Catch Workplace Sexual PredatorsThe Wall Street Journal

As abortion restrictions increase, these 10 states are seeking a new route to accessWashington Post's The Lily

Her rape kit sat untested for over 20 years. She’s fighting to make sure that stops happening, Washington Post's The LIly

The Complicated Psychology Behind Bee-Stung Lips, New York Magazine (The Cut)

Surviving Summer TV: Gendered Depictions of PTSD, Avidly (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Policing Language Is Just Another Way to Silence Women, DAME Magazine

What Happens When Women Don't Smile, DAME Magazine

Travel

Finding Open-Minded Health Care Abroad, The New York Times

 Tips for  L.G.B.T.Q. Travelers to Visit the World Safely, The New York Times

A Drive Through the Scottish Highlands, Travel + Leisure

Inside the Fight to Keep Liverpool's Punk Scene Alive, Travel + Leisure

Palmyra: How a Beloved World Heritage Site Became a Battlefield, Travel + Leisure

Explore the Magical Ephemera of New York City's Biggest Prop House,Travel + Leisure

A Brief History of the Modern Suitcase, Travel + Leisure

Winemakers in Bordeaux Are Reinvigorating Their Traditional Terroir, Travel + Leisure

The Book

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83wa95fgs1m5ueqylcoz america landscape

I'm writing a non-fiction book for Dutton (Penguin-Random House), slated for 2020. AMERICANON is a history of American myth-making through the seemingly innocuous bestsellers throughout U.S. history, everything from the Farmer's Almanac, to Webster's Dictionary, and The Betty Crocker Cookbook. These ubiquitous books—the kind that sold hundreds of millions of copies and were passed down through generations—have served quietly as blueprints for the "good American," molding common language, culture, and customs. 

Anna Sproul-Latimer of Ross-Yoon is my book agent.

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