Amanda Ripley is an investigative journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent book is High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, published by Simon & Schuster in April 2021 — the learnings from which she will use to frame the opening presentation in the Chautauqua Lecture Series’ week on “Many Americas: Navigating Our Divides,” discussing how such learnings can inform where we as a nation must move forward in both agreement and in disagreement.
Ripley’s first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why, was published in 15 countries and turned into a PBS documentary. Her next book, The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way, was a New York Times bestseller. For The Atlantic and other outlets, she has written feature stories on how journalists could do a better job covering controversy in an age of outrage, on the least politically prejudiced town in America and on the strange history of state laws that punish teenagers for acting like teenagers. Her work has also appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Politico, The Guardian and the Times of London. Her stories helped Time win two National Magazine Awards.
Ripley started her journalism career covering courts and crime for Washington City Paper, where she had the great fortune to work for the brilliant and generous editor David Carr. She then spent 10 years working for Time in New York, Washington and Paris. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Cornell University.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.