Crewdson, John (Mark) 1945-

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CREWDSON, John (Mark) 1945-

PERSONAL: Born December 15, 1945, in San Francisco, CA; son of Mark Guy (a civil engineer) and Eva Rebecca (Doane) Crewdson; married Prudence Gray Tillotson, September 11, 1969; children: Anders Gray, Oliver McDuff. Education: University of California, Berkeley, B.A. (with great distinction; economics), 1970; Queen's College, post-graduate studies in politics, 1971-72.

ADDRESSES: Office—Chicago Tribune, 1325 G St. N.W., Washington, DC 20005. Agent—Kathy Robbins, The Robbins Office Inc., 2 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 866 Second Ave., 12th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

CAREER: New York Times, reporter in Washington, DC, 1973-77, national correspondent in Houston, TX, 1977-82; Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, national news editor, 1982-83, metropolitan news editor, 1983-84, West Coast correspondent, 1984-90, senior national correspondent, 1990-96, senior writer, 1996—.

AWARDS, HONORS: Undergraduate Prize in Economics, University of California at Berkeley, 1970; Bronze medallion from Sigma Delta Chi, 1974; James Wright Brown Award, New York Deadline Club, 1976; special achievement award, New York Press Club, 1977; George Polk Memorial Award, Long Island University, NY, for medical reporting, 1977, 1990; Page One award from the New York Newspaper Guild, 1977; Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, 1981, for New York Times articles on immigration to the United States; William H. Jones Award, 1990, 1995, 1997; Peter Lisagor Award, Sigma Delta Chi, Chicago Chapter, IL, 1997; Goldberg Award from the New York Deadline Club.



The Tarnished Door: The New Immigrants and the Transformation of America, Times Books (New York), 1983.

By Silence Betrayed: Sexual Abuse of Children in America, Times Books (New York), 1988.

Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2002.

Also author of Slavery in Texas, Illegal Aliens, Seafood and Coyotes, 1980. Contributor of articles to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS: Journalist John Crewdson won a Pulitzer Prize as a New York Times reporter for his series of investigative articles on illegal immigration to the United States. Crewdson walked through the Southwestern desert with Mexican border crossers and rode the Gulf Stream to Florida with Cuban immigrants in a rickety boat; he visited dank Chicago sweatshops and lush California produce fields to see how the new arrivals labor; he interviewed U.S. immigration officials and Border Patrol officers to gauge the government's response to the vast army of undocumented workers entering the country each year. Crewdson's reporting exposed the hardship and exploitation many illegal migrants endure and uncovered extensive corruption and mismanagement in the U.S. immigration bureaucracy, prompting the Justice Department to launch its own investigation of immigration procedures.

Crewdson's Times reporting forms the empirical core for The Tarnished Door: The New Immigrants and the Transformation of America (1983), his controversial and critically praised account of the crisis in current U.S. immigration policy. The author's central conclusion is that the crisis is one of policy, not of immigration per se. While acknowledging that data on illegal immigration is necessarily sketchy, Crewdson cites evidence suggesting that undocumented workers do not take away jobs from Americans; rather, they contribute more to the American economy than they take out. The author writes that most of the undocumented arrivals are unskilled laborers from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Asia who take low-paying, arduous jobs that American workers scorn. According to Crewdson, these immigrants have helped sustain the American produce and garment industries, keeping these and many other goods and services low-priced and competitive. At the same time, undocumented workers tend to contribute proportionately more in taxes while taking less in government benefits than American citizens do. Yet, Crewdson notes, it is these immigrant laborers—rather than the thousands of educated foreign professionals who overstay their visas and do compete with American workers—who bear the brunt of popular anti-immigrant sentiment and are rounded up for deportation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I.N.S.). Many economists and immigration experts share Crewdson's conclusions, but some critics believe that the author understates immigrants' competition with Americans for menial jobs and their depressive effect on the wage scale.

Low wages are only part of the web of exploitation that ensnares many undocumented workers, according to The Tarnished Door. Crewdson writes that the immigrants' "unrelenting fear of attracting the attention of the authorities makes them easy prey for endless numbers of predators—dishonest landlords, gouging merchants, employers who charge them 'hiring fees,' immigration lawyers who take their money and then do nothing." The author also details some shocking crimes committed against immigrants—including extortion, rape, and torture—by Border Patrol officers operating along the Mexican border. These abuses occur in the context of increasing anti-immigrant sentiment among the American people, Crewdson notes, a phenomenon he feels is perhaps attributable to the slowdown in U.S. economic growth and the sheer number of new foreign arrivals in recent years.

Crewdson provides no easy answers to questions of what can, or should, be done about the perceived problem of illegal immigration. He writes that Third World immigrants will continue to be pushed by poverty in their home countries and pulled by the lure of opportunity to the United States, and that it would take a police state to fully control the country's porous borders and rout out aliens. The author quotes former I.N.S. commissioner Leonel Castillo's conclusion that "the only long-range answer is world economic development." But Crewdson argues that U.S. immigration policy might still be administered more efficiently and equitably if realistic targets were to be substituted for chaotic and reactive attempts to stanch the steady flow of people into the United States. Accomplishing this will require thoroughly reforming the I.N.S., which the author excoriates as "the most Kafkaesque labyrinth thus far devised by government" and as "shot through with nepotism, incompetence, corruption, and brutality." At the same time, Crewdson warns, the American people will have to adapt to the cultural and linguistic diversity that the new immigrants bring or risk increasing social conflict.

Critical response to The Tarnished Door was highly favorable. Joanne Omang's Washington Post Book World assessment, for example, praised the book as "an alarming, engrossing and levelheaded portrait of a critical national issue and of a population undergoing fundamental change." And reviewing The Tarnished Door in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Malcolm Boyd wrote, "The sweep of the book is awesome; its fusion of complex themes is undergirded by first rate research and reporting. 'The Tarnished Door' is a splendid example of responsible journalism visiting a subject of massive significance."

Crewdson turned his investigative sights to the pervasive but usually hidden problem of child sexual abuse in his 1988 book, By Silence Betrayed: Sexual Abuse of Children in America. The product of two years of research and reporting, Crewdson's work describes some recent sexual abuse cases and discusses current research on the causes and extent of the problem. The author cites a Los Angeles Times study suggesting that almost forty million adult Americans were victims of sexual abuse as children and that thirteen million of today's children will be abused. Crewdson notes that abuse rates appear to be roughly the same for all cultural and ethnic groups and that most abusers know the child and do not use force, circumstances that conspire to keep the great majority of cases unreported.

Crewdson believes that the silence surrounding the problem of sexual abuse stems from a societal refusal to listen to children, to read the signs of abuse, or to confront a problem that often strikes at the heart of the family and other close relations of trust. The author speculates that the growing disintegration of the nuclear family and rising social inequality may be some of the factors behind this alarming trend. He also points to the eroticization of children in advertising and popular culture and notes finally that adult sexual attraction to children may have deep psychic roots. In addition, Crewdson offers a detailed analysis of two controversial, widely publicized, and unsuccessful sexual abuse prosecutions to argue that justice often miscarries even for the tiny proportion of cases that end up in court. The author shows how children's testimony is easily undermined by defense lawyers and often disbelieved when contradicted by an adult, factors that Crewdson suspects helped defeat the cases he examines.

Critics noted that although By Silence Betrayed offers no simple means of combating this behavior so destructive to youthful emotional health, the book is important "because it should alert parents and legislators to the seriousness of this many-faceted problem," remarked Washington Post Book World reviewer Marguerite Kelly. Crewdson has "researched and pulled together what has appeared piecemeal in newspapers and magazines in different parts of the country and enlivened his studies with interviews and first-person accounts by children, parents, lawyers, therapists, judges, police and molesters themselves," summarized Lois Timnick in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. By Silence Betrayed, the critic added, "is an excellent overview and introduction to the subject."

Crewdson released the results of another major research project on November 19, 1989, in the Chicago Tribune. The lengthy story was an exposé of Robert Gallo, a prominent scientist who was the chief of the tumor-cell biology laboratory at the National Cancer Institute. Gallo had claimed that he was the first to discover a test that could successfully detect the AIDS virus.

However, Crewdson's detailed article demonstrated that Gallo had taken credit for a discovery that had actually been made at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. After the article's publication, a federal investigation of Gallo ensued, and his reputation was tarnished, yet he escaped punishment. In apparent response, an indignant Crewdson wrote Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo (2002). John Horgan of the New York Times Book Review remarked, "Crewdson returns with a vengeance to the Gallo affair in more than 600 excruciatingly detailed pages."

Nathaniel C. Comfort of the American Scientist, summarized Crewdson's research, explaining that he "conducted interviews, pored over laboratory notes and correspondence, combed government documents, read published accounts and pieced together a scathing portrait of the Gallo affair, one of the most high-profile scandals in the history of recent science." For his efforts, Crewdson has been highly praised. Critics praise his objectivity, thorough research, and accessible writing style as the book's strengths. Despite Crewdson's original Tribune article and the more detailed accusations in his subsequent book, Gallo, who is now a professor at the University of Maryland and has since left the National Cancer Institute, continues to receive patent royalties from the AIDS test that he claimed as his own.

Investigating the complexities of the Gallo incident was both time-consuming and confusing. Presenting the material in a meaningful way was a challenge Crewdson was determined to meet. Library Journal reviewer Gregg Sapp regarded the book successful in providing a thorough and easy-to-follow account of the events. Although Washington Monthly reviewer Phillip J. Longman dreaded making his way through the six hundred-plus pages of technical details, footnotes, and scientific content, he admitted that "about one-third of the way through my forced march across these pages, I started to become captivated. By the end, I could hardly put the book down out of a mounting realization that this was more than a story about human vanity and political corruption. It was a compelling account of how the scientific fictions fostered by Gallo and those who believed his claims led to the deaths of innocents." A Publishers Weekly reviewer stated that although the details of this story had been covered previously in Crewdson's news story, "the level of detail and drama here [in the book] is unprecedented." The reviewer, like Longman, ultimately found the book hard to put down. Most critics agreed that Crewdson's narrative skill helped overcome the dry, extended scientific explanations.



American Scientist, May, 2002, Volume 90, number 3, Nathaniel C. Comfort, "Call Him Ishmael," review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, pp. 268-70.

Booklist, January 1, 2002, Gilbert Taylor, review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, p. 787.

Chicago Tribune, February 1, 1988.

Chicago Tribune Book World, September 25, 1983.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, Volume 69, number 24, review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, p. 1732.

Library Journal, March 15, 2002, Volume 127, number 5, Gregg Sapp, review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, p. 104.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 2, 1983; January 31, 1988.

New Republic, November 7, 1983.

New York Times, January 5, 1984; New York Times Book Review, February 7, 1988; March 3, 2002, John Horgan, "Autopsy of a Medical Breakthrough," review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, p. 9.

Publishers Weekly, January 14, 2002, Volume 249, number 2, review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, p. 52.

Washington Monthly, March, 2002, Volume 34, number 3, Phillip J. Longman, review of Science Fictions: A Scientific Mystery, a Massive Coverup, and the Dark Legacy of Robert Gallo, pp. 56-57.

Washington Post Book World, November 11, 1983; April 10, 1988.*