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Julie Salamon

Award-winning journalist, author, and critic

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  • About Julie Salamon

    As author, critic, and journalist, Julie Salamon has challenged conventional wisdom on diverse subjects, including filmmaking, murder, philanthropy, the Holocaust, and modern medical care. Through scrupulous detail and revealing stories, she has become noted for shedding new light on subjects we think we know.  Her most recent book is Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein.

    Salamon is the author of eight books, including Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids, which tells how complex cultural matters complicate medical care in a big urban hospital. In 2006, Salamon was selected as a Kaiser Media Fellow for her work on Hospital. Salon called the book “fascinating…about much more than white coats and beeping consoles—it’s 21st century America in a microcosm.”

    Salamon’s previous book, Rambam’s Ladder: A Meditation on Generosity and Why It Is Necessary to Give, has attracted wide attention in the philanthropic world and has recently been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch. Salamon has become a sought-after speaker through her engaging, provocative examination of the ethical, emotional, and practical issues surrounding the deceptively simple desire to do good. She has been the keynote speaker for numerous conferences, often to audiences of several thousand people. A sampling of these organizations: the Ivy-MIT-Stanford Conference for Corporate and Foundation Relation Fundraisers, the national convention of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Metro Health Foundation in Cleveland, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the Marin Community Foundation, dozens of UJA organizations as well as churches, universities, and lower schools. She has been interviewed widely on national and local television and radio programs, including National Public Radio.

    Salamon’s bestselling book, The Devil’s Candy, is considered a Hollywood classic about filmmaking gone awry. In her memoir, The Net of Dreams, an unusual Holocaust story that became a New York Times Notable Book, she examined a complex family history that began in the Carpathian mountains of Eastern Europe and ends in the American heartland. Her novella The Christmas Tree was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into eight languages. Facing the Wind, a nonfiction narrative about a killing and the lives affected by it, was a New York Times Notable Book and was recognized as a best book of 2001 by NPR’s Fresh Air and The Los Angeles Times. Three of her books have won Ohiana Library Awards.

    Salamon was a reporter and the film critic for The Wall Street Journal for many years, and then a staff writer and critic at The New York Times. Her essays and articles have appeared in many anthologies as well as Vogue, Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. In addition to writing and lecturing, Salamon is chair of the BRC, a social services organization in New York City that provides care for people who are homeless and may suffer from addiction or mental disease.

    Raised in Seaman, Ohio, a rural town of 800, Salamon was educated at Tufts University and New York University School of Law. She lives in downtown Manhattan with her husband, Bill Abrams, president of Trickle Up, a nonprofit organization that addresses global poverty, and their two children, Roxie and Eli.

  • Speaking Topics

    Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein

    Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein is the biography of a fascinating woman who came to represent a powerful segment of the baby boom generation. Her life encompassed the transformational years of the Sixties and the devastation of September 11; she wrote about it all. Her story speaks to how the shifting role of women in American society affected the meaning of family. Her life in the theater provides fascinating discussion of what has changed for women in the arts, and what has remained the same. Her struggle to find artistic and personal identity still resonate, offering valuable life lessons.

    Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids

    Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids Julie Salamon had the rare opportunity to spend a year observing the inner workings of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, a large, urban hospital where sixty-seven languages are spoken. She came to understand the multiplicity of demands on the system and on the people working within it: technological, cultural, spiritual, psychological, financial, bureaucratic—and, yes, medical. Even as she learned about factionalism and petty quarrels, as well as the industrial nature of modern medicine, she was struck by the desire of the medical people and staff to find meaning in their work—and by their desire to make the system better. Salamon can address crucial questions about modern medical care, including: Is there a way to foster respect between medical professionals, and between doctors and nurses and their patients? How can hospital management help people working in the hospital improve systems that will make the experience less frightening and frustrating for patients and their families?

    Rambam’s Ladder

    Julie Salamon has become a sought-after speaker as a result of her engaging, provocative examination of the ethical, emotional, and practical issues surrounding the deceptively simple desire to do good. “Julie is a storyteller extraordinaire, and is skilled at making the teachable moment fun,” said Janet C. West, director of faculty foundation relations for Columbia University/UDAR. “Her remarks at the close of our annual conference of corporate and foundation fundraisers from the Ivy-MIT-Stanford consortium were engaging and universally and enthusiastically received. With wisdom and good humor, she provided a refreshing education in the stages of philanthropy and, in illustrating her points, captured our imaginations and hearts.” Fred Silverman, vice president of marketing for the Marin Community Foundation, said, “Julie Salamon brings that rare combination of professional and personal insights into whatever it is she writes and talks about. She has the ability to convey the emotional side of her topic even as she retains the rigorous objectivity of a journalist. It’s like listening to a personal journal and solid reportage at the same time.”

  • Books by Julie Salamon

  • Media About Julie Salamon

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  • 212 572-2013
  • Julie Salamon travels from New York, NY

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