McPhee, John

McPhee, John (Angus)

(1931–  ) writer; born in Princeton, N.J. He studied at Princeton (B.A. 1953) and at Cambridge University, England (1953–54). He worked as a television playwright for Robert Montgomery Presents (1955–57) and as an associate editor for Time magazine (1957–64). In 1964 he became a staff writer for the New Yorker; he also taught journalism at Princeton (1975). His nonfiction books, acclaimed for their cool precision, were usually based on articles written for the New Yorker; they cover a wide variety of subjects—everything from oranges to ecology, from canoemakers to Alaska; in later years he pursued an interest in geology through a series of books beginning with Basin and Range (1981).