About Leonard Downie
Leonard Downie Jr. is Weil Professor of Journalism at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He served as executive editor of The Washington Post from 1991 to 2008. During Downie’s seventeen years as executive editor, the news staff won twenty-five Pulitzer Prizes including three Pulitzer gold medals for public service. His books include Justice Denied, Mortgage on America, The New Muckrakers, and The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril with Robert G. Kaiser, which won the Goldsmith Award from the Joan Shorenstein Center at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Downie’s most recent work and his first work of fiction, The Rules of the Game, is a novel of corruption and cover-ups at the highest levels of Washington politics, as a national newspaper digs up the dark secrets of a powerful lobbying firm thereby exposing a network of wrongdoing by government contractors in Iraq that extends all the way to the White House. With a female president, a press that has been warned off national security issues, and scandal in Iraq, The Rules of the Game is a story torn from today’s headlines.
Downie is a seasoned speaker and has spoken at Oxford University, Columbia University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, Chautauqua, and for the American Society of Newspaper Editors, among others. He speaks on a variety of topics, drawing from his own experiences and incorporating the current headlines, resulting in engaging and timely lectures that give audiences a peek inside the inner workings of Washington. He gave the Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecture at Arizona State University in October 2008, and a keynote address at the Neiman Foundation’s Seventieth Anniversary Convocation at Harvard University in November 2008. He has been interviewed frequently on network, cable, and local television, and on national and local public radio.
Praise for The Rules of the Game:
“Len Downie has written a truly great novel about five of the pillars of Washington life–secrets, trust, money, sex, and moral choice. Like all wonderful fiction, it gets to the very core of the world and personalities it describes. This is a deadly serious and elegantly told story about journalism, influence peddling, clandestine sources, and the presidency.”
“The Rules of the Game is a powerful and dazzling story of conspiracy, murder and political corruption at the highest levels of government. As editor of the Washington Post, Len Downie learned all about the corrupting power of money when mixed with politics and war and he has used that knowledge to help shape a stunning novel.”
-Senator William S. Cohen