Many have called Jonathan Schell one of the most prolific authors of the latter half of the 20th century. Born in New York (1943), he's authored:
- "The Unconquerable World," (Metropolitan Press, 1998)
- "Writing in Time" (Moyer Bell, 1997)
- "Observing the Nixon Years" (Pantheon Books, 1989. A collection of Notes and Comment written for The New Yorker during the Vietnam-Nixon years)
- "The Real War" (Pantheon Books, 1988. Collection in one volume of "The Military Half," and "The Village of Ben Suc" together with a new essay on the war)
- "History in Sherman Park" (Knopf, 1987)
- "The Abolition" (Knopf, 1984)
- "The Fate of the Earth" (Knopf, 1982) and
"The Time of Illusion" (Knopf, 1976).
Some of his notable articles include:
- "The Uncertain Leviathan," The Atlantic Monthly, August, 1996
- "Speak Loudly and Carry a Small Stick," (Harper’s, March, 1989)
- "A Better Today," The New Yorker, 1986 —also served as an introduction to "Letters from Prison," by Adam Michnik, 1986.
He holds degrees in:
- M.A. Program in Far Eastern History, Harvard, 1967 (degree incomplete)
- Graduate study in intensive Japanese, International Christian University
- Harvard College, B.A., Magna cum laude, 1965
His awards include:
- Award for Literature, American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters, 1973 (for contributions to Notes and Comment section)
- Doctor of Humane Letters, Saint Xavier College, 1985
- George Polk Award, given to The New Yorker for Notes and Comment, 1976
- L.A. Times Book award, 1982, for "The Fate of the Earth"
- 1982 Nomination of "The Fate of the Earth" for Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and the National Critics Award.
- 1982 Journalism Award (given by the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi)
- The Melcher book award, for "The Fate of the Earth," 1982.
And has been awarded the following Grants and Fellowships:
Media Studies Center 1996-7
Guggenheim Fellow, June-December, 1989.
MacCarthur Foundation Grant for writing on Peace and Security, Jan. 1989-June 1990.
The literature he's most famous for, The Fate Of The Earth and Abolition, deals with the issue of Nuclear Disarmament, and its ramifications for the human race. Using heavy connotation and metaphors matched with meticulous prose he expresses what could be the downfall of humankind:
"...once we learn that a holocaust might lead to extinction we have no right to gamble, because if we lose, the game will be over, and neither we nor anyone else will ever get another chance. Therefore, although, scientifically speaking, there is all the difference in the world between mere possibility that a holocaust will bring about extinction and the certainty of it, morally they are the same, and we have no choice but to address the issue of nuclear weapons as though we knew for a certainty that their use would put an end to our species."
Schell is also known for his biting political commentary, which is exemplified in such works as The Real War: The Classic Reporting On The Vietnam War, which was recently added to the Library of America's recent two-volume Reporting Vietnam.
Recently he has been working on his new book The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People. He is currently a professor of Political Science at Wesleyan University, a columnist for Newsday, and a Fellow at the Nation Institute.