Michael Grynbaum

Michael Grynbaum

Class of 2007, America
National Correspondent, The New York Times
Michael Grynbaum

Thesis Title: A Joke by Any Other Name: Hoax as a Social Protest (Three Case Studies)

What Now: National Correspondent, The New York Times

Follow Me: @grynbaum (Twitter)

Three years of History & Literature trained me to explain the nuances of postmodern theory and American culture. Naturally, my first job out of college required me to write about the stock market.

I attended exactly one economics class at Harvard (a shopping period mishap), not quite adequate preparation for covering the financial world in the fall of 2007. As a new cubicle-mate patiently explained the difference between a stock and a bond, I wondered how those hours of analyzing Eliot and Benjamin might apply.

As it turned out: quite well! When an editor asked me to summarize the impenetrable remarks of the Federal Reserve chairman, I flashed back to close reading exams: The dense jargon of Wall Street seemed manageable after wrestling with theory in junior seminar. What I learned in History & Literature transcended specific assignments or texts: at heart, I was taught to clarify ideas, unpack complex arguments, and develop fresh, sharp angles in my thinking about the world. These skills apply equally well to great works of literature and great tragedies of finance – and, I suspect, other surprises my professional travels may spring.

Since chronicling the Dow’s spectacular collapse, I’ve focused on political reporting, serving as the Times’s City Hall bureau chief. In 2016, I became a national correspondent, covering the intersection of media and politics on the presidential campaign trail, the Trump White House, and beyond.

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