Danziger, Danny 1953- (Daniel Guggenheim Danziger)
Danziger, Danny 1953- (Daniel Guggenheim Danziger)
Born February 1, 1953; son of Edward and Gigi Danziger; married; wife's name Victoria Constance Baillieu. Education: Rollins College, B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, golf, running.
Home—London, England. Office—The Sunday Times, 1 Pennington St., London E98 1XY, England; fax: 44-0-20-7782-5046.
Writer and journalist. Independent, London, England, columnist, 1990-95; Daily Mail, London, columnist, 1996-97; Sunday Times, London, columnist, 1999—. Cover magazine, cofounder and coeditor, 1997—.
The Happiness Book (compilation), photographs by Nic Barlow, Pan-Macmillan (London, England), 1980.
All in a Day's Work (biographies), Fontana (London, England), 1987.
Eton Voices (interviews), Viking (London, England), 1988.
The Cathedral: A Portrait of Lincoln Cathedral, Viking (London, England), 1989.
The Year Zero (history), HarperCollins (London, England), 1989.
The Noble Tradition: Intimate Interviews with the Medical Profession, Viking (London, England), 1990.
Lost Hearts: Talking about Divorce, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1992, also published as Lost Hearts: When Marriage Goes Wrong, HarperCollins (London, England), 1995.
The Orchestra: The Lives behind the Music (interviews), HarperCollins (London, England), 1995.
(With Robert Lacey) The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1999, published as The Year 1000: An Englishman's Year, Abacus (Boston, MA), 2000, published as The Year 1000, Harper-Collins (London, England), 2003.
(With Nicholas Purcell) Hadrian's Empire: When Rome Ruled the World, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2005.
Also author of Medical Interviews Plus, 1999.
The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium was adapted into a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio series.
Danny Danziger is a columnist for the London Sunday Times. During his career as a journalist he has written for a number of London newspapers, including the Daily Mail and the Independent. He is particularly well known for his interview series, "Best of Times, Worst of Times," which appeared in the Independent.
Danizger put his interviewing skills to good use for several of his early books. Eton Voices, a collection of interviews with the alumni of Eton College, was published in 1988, and The Noble Tradition: Intimate Interviews with the Medical Profession, which contains interviews with paramedics, researchers, surgeons, and other health professionals, followed two years later.
In 1995, Danziger published The Orchestra: The Lives behind the Music, a somewhat controversial look at the London Philharmonic Orchestra. For the work, he interviewed some fifty members of the orchestra, uncovering "their disdain for their conductors and the bedhopping antics of the musicians when they are away from home on tour," according to London Sunday Times contributor Lesley Thomas. Lawyers representing the orchestra attempted to have the book censored, to little avail. Despite the minor stir it created, the book earned tepid reviews. New Statesman reviewer Douglas Kennedy found The Orchestra to be little more than "a piecemeal collection of tame gossip," and Richard Morrison of the London Times called it "a reasonable account of what goes on inside the minds of musicians."
Danziger cofounded Cover, a monthly magazine based in London, in 1997, together with author and historian Robert Lacey. The pair later collaborated on The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium. The book chronicles everyday life in Anglo-Saxon England at the end of the first millennium, describing the Anglo-Saxon diet, clothing, and social customs, among other topics. The book also discusses the more unpleasant aspects of Anglo-Saxon life, including torturous medicinal "cures" and the ever-present smell of dung. "The main purpose of the book, however, isn't to highlight the horrors of life 1,000 years ago but simply to portray it," wrote Theodore Spencer in Salon.com. "The authors perform this task well, fusing their respective talents as historian and journalist into a crisp, anecdotal style and cramming an astonishing amount of information into 200 pages." "This is a superb time capsule," a Publishers Weekly critic stated, "and the authors distill a wealth of historical information into brightly entertaining reading." "The Year 1000 could be read with profit by many whose approach to historical writing is much more ponderous," noted Ian McIntyre in the London Times. "It is an elegant and painless lesson in how to combine serious purpose with lightness of touch."
1215: The Year of Magna Carta is Danziger's follow-up to The Year 1000. Cowritten with John Gillingham, 1215 examines a turning point in history: the drafting of the Magna Carta, a document that established the foundations for modern freedom and justice. In the work, Danziger and Gillingham note that the charter contains a series of concessions made by King John to placate the rebellious English noble class. "But what really matters about Magna Carta, our authors argue, is the iconic significance that it has acquired down the centuries in English (and latterly American) legal thought," stated John Adamson in the London Sunday Telegraph. "Focusing on Clauses thirty-nine and forty … [the authors] point out that, in guaranteeing the subject's freedom from arbitrary imprisonment and the right to be judged by due process of law, the Charter ‘created something entirely new.’"
In 1215, Danziger and Gillingham also provide details about British social life during the 1200s. Birmingham Post reviewer Jayne Howarth stated that 1215 not only "charts the events which led to the barons rebelling against their unpopular king," it "also tells the story of how people from all strata of society lived." Indeed, 1215 received generally positive reviews. A Publishers Weekly critic observed that the authors "make it clear that the Magna Carta was not an abstract thesis, but a brilliant response to a particular time and circumstance." According to Simon Jenkins in the London Sunday Times, "1215 is, curiously, too light a book to do full justice to Magna Carta…. Yet the authors admirably remind us of the chaotic soil in which the first glimmerings of British political freedom took root."
Hadrian's Empire: When Rome Ruled the World, which Danziger cowrote with Nicholas Purcell, provides readers with a general overview of what life was like under Roman rule across not just Europe, but what would eventually become Great Britain as well. The book covers a wealth of material, including government, forms of entertainment, and military strategy for defending the borders of the vast realm. Also included are interesting facts, such as the concept of salary, which comes from Roman times when payment to the legionaries was made in salt. A contributor to the Telegraph Online remarked of the book that "what comes across most strongly is the sheer awfulness of the world they are describing…. For all its achievements, Rome was essentially a racket."
In Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Danziger profiles the many individuals who work at the museum, including full-time employees, part-time employees, and even volunteer workers, giving readers a clear look at what it takes to keep a major museum running smoothly. He interviewed a total of fifty-two people out of approximately 2,000, careful to maintain an even distribution of departments and hierarchies. The results are collected in Museum and shared in alphabetical order so that no one job or personality is placed above another in importance. Melissa Barton, in a review of the work for Bookslut, remarked that "Danzig's skills as an interviewer and editor are smooth; he brings out people's stories without his own voice intruding." She dubbed the book "a compelling and fascinating read."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Birmingham Post (Birmingham, England), June 21, 2003, Jayne Howarth, "Setting the Scene for Liberal Charter," review of 1215: The Year of Magna Carta, p. 53.
Booklist, February 15, 1999, Jay Freeman, review of The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, p. 1036.
Guardian (Manchester, England), September 29, 1997, Sarah Marshall, interview with Danziger, p. 2; March 10, 1999, D.J. Taylor, "Real Lives: The Past Imperfect," review of The Year 1000, p. 4.
Independent (London, England), September 1, 1997, Michael Leapman, "Second Time Rounders," p. 8.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2004, review of 1215, p. 255.
Library Journal, February 15, 1999, Robert James Andrews, review of The Year 1000, p. 166.
New Statesmen, April 14, 1995, Douglas Kennedy, review of The Orchestra: The Lives behind the Music, p. 40.
Publishers Weekly, January 18, 1999, review of The Year 1000, p. 321; April 5, 2004, review of 1215, p. 49.
Scotsman, January 25, 1999, Fordyce Maxwell, "Millennial Man for All Seasons," review of The Year 1000, p. 13.
Sunday Telegraph (London, England), June 22, 2003, John Adamson, "1215 and All That," p. 14.
Sunday Times (London, England), May 29, 1988, John Mortimer, "Training for a Life in Prison" review of Eton Voices; February 26, 1995, Lesley Thomas, "Orchestra Tries to Stop Book of Bedhopping and Bitchery," p. 24; January 17, 1999, Walter Ellis, "Turning Back Time," review of The Year 1000, p. 3; June 15, 2003, Simon Jenkins, "Laying down the Law of the Land," p. 33.
Times (London, England), April 21, 1990, Victoria Glendinning, "What Is There to Be Afraid Of?," review of The Noble Tradition: Intimate Interviews with the Medical Profession; April 1, 1995, Richard Morrison, "Listen to the Band," review of The Orchestra, p. 14; January 28, 1999, Ian McIntyre, "Honey Still for Tea," review of The Year 1000, p. 40; July 26, 2003, George Brock, "Lasting Legacy," review of 1215, p. 16.
Whole Earth, winter, 2000, review of The Year 1000.
Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (January 21, 2008), Melissa Barton, review of Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Central News Network Online,http://www.cnn.com/ (July 8, 2004), Adam Dunn, "A Cornerstone of the World," interview.
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (February 10, 1999), Theodore Spencer, review of The Year 1000.
Telegraph Onlinehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/ (July 10, 2005), "The Sheer Awfulness of Ancient Rome."