Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet is an award-winning literary journalist and author of seven books including New York Times bestseller, THE FAMILY: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and C STREET: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. He is also the executive producer of the top-rated Netflix documentary series based on the books.

Jeff is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College and a contributing editor for Harper’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Rolling Stone. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Esquire, Bookforum, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, The Nation and more. He is the publisher of 40 Townsa periodical of literary journalism, and the co-creator of two online journals, Killing the Buddha, an online magazine of religion, culture, and politics, and The Revealer, a review of religion and media published by the New York University Center for Religion and Media. He is the former editor-in-chief of Pakn Treger, a journal published by the National Yiddish Book Center.

His work has earned numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award, the Outspoken Award, the MOLLY National Journalism Prize, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Thomas Jefferson Award.

Forthcoming from Jeff is THIS BRILLIANT DARKNESS: A Book of Strangers (W.W. Norton & Co., 2020). A hardbound extension of his acclaimed Instagram essays, this collection of images and reflections is a visionary work of radical empathy. The book chronicles a period in the author’s life defined by insomnia, late-night driving and the companionship of other darkness-dwellers: night bakers, last-call drinkers, the frightened and the frightening, the homeless, addicts . . . people on the margins. The result is a riveting, light-bearing inquiry into the ways we live with suffering.


“A master investigative stylist and one of the shrewdest commentators on religion’s underexplored realms.” – Michael Washburn, Washington Post

“Part reporter, part prophet, Jeff Sharlet is an American visionary in the lineage that runs from Twain to Robinson Jeffers to Sam Shepard and Joan Didion.” – Peter Trachtenberg, author of 7 Tattoos and The Book of Calamities

The Family is “a brilliant marriage of investigative journalism and history, an unsettling story of how this small but powerful group shaped the faith of the nation in the 20th century and drives the politics of empire in the 21st. Anyone interested in circles of power will love this book.” – Debby Applegate, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

Books, Films & Projects


Jeff Sharlet's bestselling book, THE FAMILY, comes to NETFLIX August 9.

Jeff Sharlet speaks with Christiane Amanpour about his book and new Netflix series, The Family.