|March 15, 2009 Guest –
Program: Everybody Sharing Everything
Gjelten is a veteran correspondent for NPR News, specializing in
national security and international affairs. His overseas reporting
experience include stints in Mexico City as NPR's Latin America
correspondent from 1986 to 1990 and in Berlin as Central Europe
correspondent from 1990 to 1994. During those years, he covered the wars
in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Colombia, as well as the Gulf
War of 1990-1991 and the wars in Croatia and Bosnia.
With other NPR correspondents,
Gjelten described the transitions to democracy and capitalism in Eastern
Europe and the breakup of the Soviet Union. His reporting from Sarajevo
from 1992 to 1994 was the basis for his book Sarajevo Daily: A City
and Its Newspaper Under Siege (HarperCollins), praised by the
New York Times as "a chilling portrayal of a city's slow murder"
and selected by the American Library Association as a "Notable
Nonfiction Book" He is also the author of Professionalism in War
Reporting: A Correspondent's View (Carnegie Corporation) and a
contributor to Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know
(W. W. Norton).
Prior to his current assignment,
Gjelten covered U.S. diplomacy and military affairs, first from the
State Department and then from the Pentagon. He was reporting live from
the Pentagon at the moment it was hit on September 11, 2001, and he was
NPR's lead Pentagon reporter during the war in Afghanistan and the
invasion of Iraq. Gjelten has also reported extensively from Cuba in
recent years, visiting the island more than a dozen times. His new book,
Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause
(Viking), is a unique history of modern Cuba, told through the life
and times of the Bacardi rum family.
Since joining NPR in 1982 as
labor and education reporter, Gjelten has won numerous awards for his
work. His 1992 series "From Marx to Markets," documenting the transition
to market economics in Eastern Europe, won an Overseas Press Club award
for "Best Business or Economic Reporting in Radio or TV." His coverage
of the wars in the former Yugoslavia earned Gjelten the Overseas Press
Club's Lowell Thomas Award, a George Polk Award, and a Robert F. Kennedy
Journalism Award. He was part of the NPR teams that won an Alfred I.
duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for Sept. 11 coverage and a
George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.
In addition to reporting for NPR,
Gjelten is a regular panelist on the PBS program Washington Week.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, he began his professional
career as a public school teacher and a freelance writer.