David Rieff

David Rieff (/ˈrf/; born September 28, 1952, Boston) is an American non-fiction writer and policy analyst. His books have focused on issues of immigration, international conflict, and humanitarianism.

David Rieff
EducationLycée Français de New York
Alma materAmherst College
Princeton University
OccupationNon-fiction writer, policy analyst
Parent(s)Philip Rieff
Susan Sontag


Rieff is the only child of Susan Sontag, who was 19 years old when he was born. His father, whom Sontag divorced, was Philip Rieff, author of Freud: The Mind of the Moralist. Sontag co-authored the book at age 25 but relinquished her rights to Philip, a gesture she always regretted. Rieff was educated at the Lycée Français de New York and attended Amherst College as a member of the class of 1974, where he studied with Benjamin DeMott. He completed college at Princeton University, graduating with an A.B. in history in 1978.[1]


Rieff was a Senior Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux from 1978 to 1989,[1] working with such authors as Joseph Brodsky, Elias Canetti, Carlos Fuentes, Alberto Moravia, Les Murray, Philip Roth, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Marguerite Yourcenar.[citation needed]

Rieff is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research,[1] a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a board member of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, of the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute and of Independent Diplomat.[citation needed]

Rieff has published numerous articles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El Pais, The New Republic, World Affairs, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, and other publications.[2]

Rieff has extensively written about the Bosnian War. Despite his initial support of the Iraq War, he later became critical of American policies and actions that followed the invasion itself. [3]



  • Texas Boots (with Sharon Delano) (Studio/Penguin, 1981)
  • Going to Miami: Tourists, Exiles and Refugees in the New America (Little, Brown, 1987)
  • Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
  • The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami (Simon & Schuster, 1993)
  • Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West (Simon & Schuster, 1995)
  • Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know (co-editor, with Roy Gutman) (W. W. Norton, 1999)
  • A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis (Simon & Schuster, 2003)
  • At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
  • Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir (Simon & Schuster, 2008)
  • Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947-1963 (editor) (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009)
  • Against Remembrance (Melbourne University Press. 2011)
  • The Reproach of Hunger (Simon & Schuster, 2015)
  • In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies (Yale University Press, 2016)

Critical studies and reviewsEdit

  • Rose, Peter (September 2011). "In the ring with Susan Sontag" (PDF). Australian Book Review. 334: 20–21. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2016.



  1. ^ a b c "David Rieff". World Policy Institute. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "David Rieff, Melbourne University Press". www.mup.com.au. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Rieff, David, ""Muscular Utopianism: I used to be a liberal interventionist. Now I'm a realist"". Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), The Wall Street Journal, Sunday, April 3, 2005.

External linksEdit