Clay Risen is the author of three books: "The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act" (Bloomsbury, 2014), "American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye: A Guide to the Nation's Favorite Spirit" (Sterling Epicure, 2014), and "A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination" (Wiley, 2009). He also co-edited "The New York Times' Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the Civil War from Lincoln's Election to the Emancipation Proclamation."

Risen is a staff editor at The New York Times; previously he worked as an assistant editor at The New Republic and the managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. He has written for numerous national magazines and newspapers, including The Atlantic, Smithsonian, Fortune, The Oxford American, Garden and Gun, Inc., Men's Journal, Popular Science, and The New York Times Magazine. 

Clay Risen lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Upcoming: The Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt and the Men Who Launched the American Century (Scribner)

Praise for The Bill of the Century: Lyndon Johnson and the Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act

“Clay Risen’s book will join a very short list of outstanding studies that reminds us of the extraordinary efforts to enact the 1964 civil rights law. As he brilliantly demonstrates, this was indeed the ‘Bill of the Century.’ Deeply researched, beautifully written, this is a history scholars and general readers alike will want to read.” – Robert Dallek, author of Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and his Times, 1961-1973

The New York Times Sunday Book Review, All the Way, Kevin Boyle, May 15, 2014

The Wall Street Journal Book Review, James T. Patterson, April 11, 2014

Named one of the the Best History Books of 2014 by Kansas City Star

Named one of Dropout Nation's Top 8 Books of the Year

Nominee for NAACP Image Award for Non-fiction Book of 2014

Praise for American Whiskey Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation's Favorite Spirit

“[Risen] offers takes on excellent whiskies, and doesn’t hold back while describing the bad (“Drinking George Dickel No 8, I can’t get away from the thought of Robitussin poured over cornflakes”), lending authority to his assessment of an overwhelming number of choices. The book will help whiskey lovers single out the good-to-great, but Risen also offers suggestions for lower tier whiskeys like Evan Williams that are perfectly fine for mixed drinks.” – Publishers Weekly

Professional Book ReviewFebruary 7, 2014

clay's articles and interviews

The New York Times, How Dreams and Money Didn't Mix at a Texas DistilleryDecember 27, 2014