"The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power"



David E. Sanger, The New York Times

Date and Time

February 24, 2009 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



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Michael Chaitkin

David E. Sanger covers the White House for The New York Times and is one of the newspaper's senior writers. In a 24-year career at the paper, he has reported from New York, Tokyo and Washington, covering a wide variety of issues surrounding foreign policy, globalization, nuclear proliferation, Asian affairs and, for the past five years, the arc of the Bush presidency. Twice he has been a member of Times reporting teams that won the Pulitzer Prize. Sanger's new book, The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power (Harmony, 2009), is an examination of the challenges that the tumultuous events of the past eight years have created for the new president.

Before covering the White House, Mr. Sanger specialized in the confluence of economic and foreign policy, and wrote extensively on how issues of national wealth and competitiveness have come to redefine the relationships between the United States and its major allies. As a correspondent and then bureau chief in Tokyo for six years, he covered Japan's rise as the world's second largest economic power, and then its humbling recession. He also filed frequently from Southeast Asia, and wrote many of the first stories about North Korea's secret nuclear weapons program in the 1990's. He continues to cover proliferation issues from Washington.

Leaving Asia in 1994, he took up the position of chief Washington economic correspondent, and covered a series of global economic upheavals, from Mexico to the Asian economic crisis. He was named a senior writer in March, 1999, and White House correspondent later that year.

Mr. Sanger joined the Times in the Business Day section, specializing in the computer industry and high-technology trade. In 1986 he played a major role in the team that investigated the causes of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, writing the first stories about what the space agency knew about the potential flaws in the shuttle's design and revealing that engineers had raised objections to launching the shuttle. The team won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. He was a member of another Pulitzer-winner team that wrote about the struggles within the Clinton Administration over controlling exports to China.

In 2004, Mr. Sanger was the co-recipient of the Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting for his coverage of the Iraq and Korea crises. He also won the Aldo Beckman prize for coverage of the presidency, awarded by the White House Correspondent's Association. The previous year he won another of the association's major prizes, the Merriman Smith Memorial Award, for coverage of the emergence of a new national security strategy for the United States. In 2004 he and four other colleagues also shared the American Society of Newspaper Editor's top award for deadline writing, for team coverage of the Columbia disaster.

Mr. Sanger appears regularly on public affairs and news shows. Twice a week he delivers the Washington Report on WQXR, the radio station of the Times. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group.

Born in 1960 in White Plains, N.Y.,  Mr. Sanger was educated in the public school system there and graduated magna cum laude in government from Harvard College in 1982.