About Clay Risen

Risen PhotoClay Risen is a senior editor for The New York Times op-ed section and the drinks columnist for Garden and Gun magazine. Before that, he was an assistant editor at The New Republic and the founding managing editor of  the noted quarterly Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. His recent freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Popular Science, and Fortune, among others. Raised in Nashville, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

10 thoughts on “About Clay Risen

  1. lynn

    May I enquire as to the name of the lobbyist who did the Civil Rights Act and the anti movement you mentioned on your appearance at Greenlight with Dr. Painter,por favor?
    Thanks for your time.
    MS. lynn chadderdon

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks for the comment. The pro-Civil Rights Act lobbyist I mentioned was Clarence Mitchell; the leadership of the opposition lobbying was John Satterfield and the Coordinating Committee for Fundamental American Freedoms.

  2. John Katzenbach

    Clay — This email isn’t really a comment.
    I’d like to thank you for the kind note you sent my mother in New Jersey. Your words about my old man’s work on the Civil Rights Act made her day. Like any elderly person, she clings to memories of significance — and those days in 1964 remain very powerful for her, just as her pride in my father’s accomplishments remains alive for her today.
    My father was an unusual man — in the sense that he rarely crowed about what he managed to achieve. This — as you can imagine — flies in the face of this modern world’s demands of celebrity, where fame seems rarely to be connected to actually doing something important.

    best wishes,
    John Katzenbach
    Amherst, Ma

  3. Sylvan Leabman

    Good morning

    Just read your article about boutique distilleries. Our son’s Bourbon barreled Big Gin just won the gold award at the international wine and spirits competition in Europe. BIG Gin is distilled in Seattle.

    Also in completion with nine others for boutique distillery of the year.

    Thought you might find this interesting

    Thanks for your work!

    Sylvan Leabman

  4. Rick T.

    I watched the cycle today on MSNBC. Mr. Risen made a number of statements related to the decision of the NY Grand Jury handing down the decision to not indite in the Garner case. I agree with almost everything that he made about this case. I believe that the response to Mr. Garner was not appropriate. The use of force for police has standards which are way too loose. I think this is the case for all races, not just African American.

    One objection I have with a statement Mr. Risen made was simply an addendum he made about how some police in a particular police department were transplants from the South. I am from the South and I disagree with what has happened in this case. I believe that “casual and irresponsible” comments like that also are not appropriate. When someone lumps all from the South into a particular classification (racist), this is profiling, just like you say the police may have been in the Garner case.

  5. John Pankauski

    Great article in today’s, December 28th, 2014, Sunday New York Times on investors who part ways with a business creator. Whiskey maker and entrepreneur Chip Tate “lost” the business which he created to investors when disagreements ensued. Great insight into how private companies and small businesses can separate themselves from the founder!

  6. jack mehoff

    Why was Bobby Kennedy so sullen on the day that LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and handed over some pens to Bobby? Maybe he knew what he had foretold when his brother was President and that passage of the Act was bad for the next Democratic candidate which was Bobby. I think Nixon won in 1968 on The Southern Strategy. Google: Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy.

    The author could have named the book: A Team of Rivals which would have been appropriate. The theme is that LBJ did little. BS.

  7. Brian Mann

    I have really enjoyed your book on whiskey. Is it possible to get an electronic version of the checklist in your book? I have a goal of trying them all, but it’s not convenient to carry your book everywhere!


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