Jonathan Alter joined Newsweek as an associate editor in the "Nation" section in March 1983, and he became media critic the following year. He was named a senior writer in February 1987 and a senior editor in September 1991. For two years prior to joining Newsweek, Alter was an editor at The Washington Monthly. He has also freelanced articles for such publications as "The New Republic," "Esquire," "Slate," and "The New York Times."
A Chicago native, Alter received his B.A. in History with honors from Harvard in 1979. Besides "The Defining Moment," widely praised by critics, he is coauthor of "Selecting a President" and the coeditor of "Inside the System." He is married to Emily Lazar, and they live in New Jersey with their children.