New York’s 100 Most Important Living Writers

91. Todd Gitlin

By now, we all know Todd Gitlin for his writing on Occupy Wall Street, and for good reason. He’s been singled out for examining areas of the movement that most mainstream journalists missed. His recent book Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street (originally published as an e-book) is as close to a comprehensive text for the Occupy phenomenon as there is likely to be. Gitlin has written extensively on mass media and politics for dozens of publications ranging from The New York Times to The New Republic, and his 1980 book The Whole World Is Watching is already required reading on mass media and social movements. Where does Gitlin stand now? We think his writing on Occupy will be studied by generations of scholars to come.

Who is your favorite emerging New York writer?

Teju Cole

How do you feel about Philip Roth retiring?

I respect his decision to close out his oeuvre; I honor what I take to be his pain; I wish him a long & joyful life.

What’s next for you?

I’m at the beginning of the middle, or the middle of the beginning, of a long novel.