Ethan Michaeli is an award-winning author, journalist and university lecturer. His first book, “The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) was praised by The New York Times as “a towering achievement that will not be soon forgotten.” That year, “The Defender” was named as a Notable Book by The New York Times, the Washington Post and Amazon, won the Best Non Fiction prizes from the Chicago Writers Association as well as the Midland Authors Association, and was placed on the short list of the Mark Lynton Prize. Ethan's new book, "Twelve Tribes: Promise and Peril in the New Israel," (November 2021) was described by National Book Award-winner Evan Osnos as "a rendering of contemporary Israel that crackles with energy, fueled by a historian’s vision and a journalist’s unrelenting curiosity.”
A native of Rochester, NY, Ethan earned a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and was a copy editor and investigative reporter at The Chicago Daily Defender from 1991 to 1996. He left The Defender to found the Residents’ Journal, a magazine written and produced by the tenants of Chicago’s public housing developments, and an affiliated not-for-profit organization, We The People Media. Ethan has served as a judge in numerous literary contests including as chair of the 2020 Lynton Prize, and at the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2021. He is currently a lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy of the University of Chicago, and a senior adviser for communications and development at the Goldin Institute, an international not-for-profit organization collaborating with grassroots social change activists in 40 different countries. His work has been published by Oxford University Press, the Washington Post, Atlantic Magazine, The Nation, The Forward, In These Times, the Chicago Tribune and other venues.