Fisher, Marc 1958-
Fisher, Marc 1958-
Miami Herald, Miami, FL, staff writer, 1980-86; Washington Post, Washington, DC, staff writer, 1986—, began as assistant city editor, bureau chief in Bonn and Berlin, Germany, 1989-93. Princeton University, Ferris Professor of Journalism, 2004; American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Washington, DC, journalist in residence, 1993-94; George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, visiting scholar.
Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, 1993; Bob Considine Award, Overseas Press Club, 1993.
After the Wall: Germany, the Germans and the Burdens of History, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.
Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation, Random House (New York, NY), 2007.
Author of columns for the Washington Post and Washington Post Magazine; maintains a blog and chat at the Post Web site.
Journalist Marc Fisher became a staff writer with the Washington Post in 1986, and for four years, beginning in 1989, he was a bureau chief in Germany. His first year there was marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall in November, and Fisher recalls this event and the period that followed as Germany made the transition to unification in After the Wall: Germany, the Germans and the Burdens of History. In the book he writes: "Germany, like no other place in the world, was an idea I had let others define for me. Now, I would have to consider it for myself." In this book of personal observations, Fisher draws on interviews he conducted while there. He contends that the country, rather than become one, is further divided.
The people of East Germany remained traditional Germans, while those in West Germany became influenced by Western culture. West Germans owned land in East Germany that they wanted returned. The East became home to many new immigrants seeking asylum under the open German policies. Two million Turks live in Germany today, descendants of immigrants welcomed in the 1950s and 1960s to work in the factories. These people are now Germans in nearly every way, but they continue to experience racism that has included beatings and murder. Fisher also writes of continuing neo-Nazi activity.
"Fisher's book is high-level journalism, exceptionally well written with attention-catching stories and vivid examples," wrote William J. Bosch in America. New Leader reviewer Richard C. Hottelet called After the Wall "an elegantly written book."
Fisher's love of radio during the decades after the rise of television is reflected in Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation. He draws on nearly one hundred interviews to write this history and profile the deejays whose shows captured the attention and hearts of America's youth from the 1950s to today. They include Alan Freed, Wolfman Jack, "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Hunter Hancock, and Todd Storz, who developed the idea of the "Top 40." Fisher follows the medium into present time, noting that it evolved to bring black music to broader audiences and from promoting single pop tunes to rock albums. He also comments on the current state of radio as a platform for right-wing talk-show hosts and shock jocks.
Fisher explores the evolution of AM radio after the advent of television before taking readers into the birth of FM radio as a place where alternative voices, including National Public Radio (NPR), could flourish. He writes about AM host Jean Shepherd, who was a precursor to such NPR personalities as Garrison Keillor and Ira Glass. Although Fisher notes the negative effects of regulation and consolidation on the once free-and-open AM dial, he does hold out hope that low-power FM stations may be able to bring back the type of programming that he recalls and that he feels would entice listeners to return.
"There's not a bit of dead air in this well-written and researched history of radio," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Fisher, Marc, After the Wall: Germany, the Germans and the Burdens of History, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.
America, May 4, 1996, William J. Bosch, review of After the Wall, p. 26.
Booklist, June 1, 1995, Margaret Flanagan, review of After the Wall, p. 1701; December 15, 2006, Mike Tribby, review of Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation, p. 8.
Economist, August 12, 1995, review of After the Wall, p. 72.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of Something in the Air, p. 1110.
Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Dave Szatmary, review of Something in the Air, p. 111.
New Leader, June 5, 1995, Richard C. Hottelet, review of After the Wall, p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, May 8, 1995, review of After the Wall, p. 279; November 27, 2006, review of Something in the Air, p. 44.
Deseretnews.com,http://deseretnews.com/ (June 14, 2007), Lynn Arave, review of Something in the Air.
Marc Fisher Home Page,http://www.marcfisher.com (June 14, 2007).
Nashville City Paper,http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/ (February 2, 2007), Ron Wynn, review of Something in the Air.
New York Times Online,http://www.nytimes.com/ (January 28, 2007), Dave Marsh, review of Something in the Air.
Princeton Alumni Weekly Online,http://www.princeton.edu/ (June 14, 2007), Katherine Hobson, review of Something in the Air.
Washington Post Online,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (June 14, 2007).