A. Brad Schwartz
I study 20th century American history, with a special interest in questions of media and journalism, law and policing, and the cultural production of history. My undergraduate thesis at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor explored Orson Welles’s 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, drawing upon an untapped trove of listener letters to challenge the standard narrative of the so-called “panic broadcast.” This research became the basis for my first book, Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News (Hill and Wang, 2015). In 2013, I co-wrote a documentary about War of the Worlds for the PBS series American Experience, based in part on my thesis research. My second book, Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago, co-written with Max Allan Collins, was published by William Morrow in 2018.