Frank Bruni

Contributing Opinion Writer, 'New York Times' | Bestselling Author, "The Age of Grievance" and "The Beauty of Dusk" | Professor of Journalism and Public Policy, Duke University
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Frank Bruni is a prominent journalist and bestselling author who served as a staff writer at the New York Times for over 25 years. During that time, he worked as a White House correspondent, the Rome bureau chief, the paper’s chief restaurant critic, and op-ed columnist—a role he maintained for 10 years that brought him national renown. Still affiliated with the paper, he is now a contributing opinion writer and maintains a weekly newsletter offering reflections on the mess (and magic) of politics and life.

Bruni is the author of five New York Times bestsellers including, most recently, The Age of Grievance, a deep dive into why Americans are so angry and what we can do about it. He makes the case that we've conflated legitimate causes and petty complaints, creating a condition of constant self-victimization. We obsess over how we've been wronged and who to blame, rather than focusing on civil, productive dialogue and constructive action. This culture of grievance has become the enemy of progress in politics and society and thus poses a threat to American democracy.

The Beauty of Dusk is a memoir detailing Bruni's adjustment to the sudden loss of vision in one eye and the acceptance of the reality that the same fate could befall the other at any moment. The result is a poignant and uplifting education in vulnerability, resilience and optimism. It reached #5 on the nonfiction bestseller lists and earned rave reviews from people and publications including Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, People magazine, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

The first openly gay op-ed columnist at the Times, Bruni is a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s Randy Shilts Award for his career-long contributions to the LGBTQ community and the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Newspaper Columnist. Prior to joining the New York Times, Bruni worked at New York Post and Detroit Free Press, where he was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing. He appears frequently as a television commentator on CNN, Real Time with Bill Maher, MSBNC, and more.
Frank Bruni is the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. His courses teach journalism and media with emphasis on ethics and morality.

Topics

The Age of Grievance

Everywhere you turn these days, you see the pressing of grievances and hear the language of grievance. Everybody’s singularly maligned. Everybody’s uniquely marginalized. Everybody’s speaking with the unfiltered anger that matches that mindset. Our politics no longer seem to be about diverse people looking for ways to lift everybody up at once. They’re about tribes and micro-tribes jockeying for advantage. That makes centrism unfashionable, compromise unthinkable and common cause impossible. We’re in a culture of self-pitying, self-righteous crisis, and Frank Bruni, a longtime New York Times journalist and bestselling author, examines this in this thoughtful speech.

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Why is the Media in Such Disfavor—and What Can Be Done About It?

Frank Bruni answers this important question from the vantage point not only of an extraordinary 35-year career in journalism but also of academic inquiry into the issue: He teaches a course at Duke devoted to this challenge. In this speech, Frank traces the arc of intensifying media distrust and suggests how we might reverse it, restoring the media’s crucial role in our democracy.

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Forging Optimism and Resilience in the Face of Personal Crisis

In late 2017, Frank suffered a stroke of his right optic nerve, lost most vision in that eye and learned there was a 20 percent chance that he’d go blind. The story of his adjustment became the New York Times bestseller The Beauty of Dusk, praised by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to medical ethicists. Frank shares his story in this speech and casts what happened to him in universal terms. We all encounter sudden hardship, face limits as we age and can fashion a perspective with constructive, happiness-making measures of confidence and gratitude. Additionally, Frank offers advice for patients on getting the most from health care providers and for health care providers on doing right by the vulnerable people in front of them.

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The Myth of Elite Colleges

In his 2015 New York Times bestseller Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, Frank Bruni dove deep into the world of higher education, a subject he wrote about extensively as an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. His new perspective as a professor at Duke University has both broadened and sharpened his thinking about the promise and pitfalls of college, which he invites audiences to reflect on in this heartfelt and important speech.

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Frank Bruni: Snapshots of Decades in Journalism

Across 35 inimitable years in journalism, Frank Bruni has been a White House reporter, a foreign correspondent (Rome), the Times’s chief restaurant critic for five years and an Op-Ed columnist for over a decade. Frank has covered everything from campaigns to earthquakes to the Vatican. He has hunkered down in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle with Army soldiers, stretched his legs on Air Force One with President George W. Bush and – thanks to all of that and more – has war stories galore. In this engagement, he tells those tales and on not just the glamour but also the necessity of journalism.

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Celebrity Encounters

Throughout Frank Bruni’s long career, he has done interviews with celebrities and in-depth celebrity profiles. From those many and varied encounters, he got a unique glimpse into the vanity of public figures and a fascinating education in the hide-and-seek of this particular form of journalism. In this lively engagement, he tells the tales of his time with George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Vanessa Redgrave, Pete Buttigieg, Mark Wahlberg and many other political and entertainment-world stars.

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Videos

Frank Bruni on Trump, Weaponizing American Pessimism & “The Age of Grievance” | Amanpour and Company
Frank Bruni
Why are Americans So Angry?
Frank Bruni
The Age of Grievance
Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni on the culture of victimhood in American politics | Firing Line with Margaret Hoover | PBS
Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni explores how grievance shapes American society in new book
Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni Fireside Chat | ASU+GSV Summit 2024
Frank Bruni
New York Times writer Frank Bruni on new book and learning about perseverance and empathy
Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni on the amazing resilience of human beings and the "sandwich board theory of life"
Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni talks about his audiobook THE BEAUTY OF DUSK
Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni Talks About The Roles Of Reporters In Our Current Political Climate
Frank Bruni

Articles

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Pope Francis' Remarkable Act of Contrition
New York Times
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Frank Bruni: Why Is Everyone Complaining?
The Free Press
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The Age of Grievance
Kirkus Review
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What are Americans So Ticked Off About Anyway?
New York Times
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Q&A: Frank Bruni on journalism in The Age of Grievance
Columbia Journalism Review
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Excerpt: The Politics of Pessimism
The Atlantic
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Excerpt: The Most Important Thing I Teach My Students Isn’t on the Syllabus
New York Times
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Interview: Frank Bruni gets political in 'The Age of Grievance'
Windy City Times
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How Democrats Can Win Anywhere and Everywhere
New York Times
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Trump's Final Battle Has Begun
New York Times
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Our Semicolons, Ourselves
New York Times
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With War Raging, Colleges Confront a Crisis of Their Own Making
New York Times
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The Marketing of a Massacre
New York Times
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The Furry Tragedy of the President's Dog
New York Times
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Trump Is Really Old, Too
New York Times
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Old is workable. Depravity is a dead end.
New York Times
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The Real, Hidden Truth About College Admissions
New York Times
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Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Thick, Cracked Goggles of Grievance
The New York Times
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Tucker Carlson and Rupert Murdoch Were Right
New York Times
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There's Only One College Rankings List That Matters
New York Times
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‘A Stirring of Democratic Hearts’
New York Times
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‘Eyesight Compromised. Could Go Blind.’
New York Times

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