Nicholas Lemann was born and raised in New Orleans and began his career in journalism there as a reporter for The Vieux Carre Courier, an alternative weekly newspaper. He graduated from Harvard College in 1976 with a degree in American History and Literature. He worked at The Washington Monthly, Texas Monthly, and The Washington Post, and was National Correspondent of The Atlantic Monthly from 1983 until 1999. Since then, he has been a staff writer at The New Yorker. In 2003, he stepped down as The New Yorker’s Washington Correspondent to serve a 10-year term as Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. His work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Republic. He is the author of six books, including The Promised Land, a history of African-American migration to the big cities and of the War on Poverty and other government social initiatives; The Big Test, a history of the SAT meritocracy in the United States; Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War; and, most recently, Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream.