Michael Hastings

American journalist Michael Hastings was a leading political writer between 2002 and 2012, penning highly informative and frequently critical stories on the United States' involvement in the Middle East and President ... Read more »
Born: 01/28/1980 in Malone, New York, USA

Biography

American journalist Michael Hastings was a leading political writer between 2002 and 2012, penning highly informative and frequently critical stories on the United States' involvement in the Middle East and President Barack Obama's foreign policy, before his untimely death in 2013. Born January 28, 1980 in Malone, New York, Hastings was one of three sons of medical professionals Brent and Molly Hastings. When he reached the age of 11, the family moved to Montreal, Quebec; there, Hastings wrote his first articles for Lower Canada College's newspaper. He continued to pursue writing at Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, Vermont, and then at New York University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism in 2002. That same year, Hastings began an unpaid internship at <i>Newsweek</i> while also contributing to <i>GQ</i> and <i>Rolling Stone</i>. In 2005, he traveled to Baghdad to cover the Iraq War for <i>Newsweek,</i>; two years later, he suffered the loss of his fiancée, National Democratic Institute spokesperson Andrea Parharmovich, who was ambushed and killed by gunmen. Hastings recounted the incident and their relationship in his first book, <i>I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story</i> (2008). Hastings soon established himself as one of the most hard-charging political correspondents on the current American news scene; among his most memorable articles were an interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, investigations in the U.S. Army's use of drones and psychological warfare, and a profile of prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl. As important as those stories were, his <i>Rolling Stone</i> feature "The Runaway General," which profiled Army general Stanley McChrystal, proved to be his most powerful piece, both in terms of the depiction of its subject matter and the impact of the piece on American policy in Afghanistan. In the feature, McChrystal, who was then commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in that region, made openly critical remarks about members of the Obama Administration. When the article went to print in 2010, McChrystal was forced to issue an apology before President Barack Obama relieved him of command. Hastings would go on to publish a book about his encounters with McChrystal, titled <i>The Operators</i>, in 2012. Now firmly established as a leading political journalist, Hastings went on to publish <i>Panic 2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Story of Obama's Final Campaign</i> (2013), and high-profile features on the Department of Homeland Security's involvement in the Occupy Wall Street campaign. His meteoric rise came to a sudden and violent end on June 18, 2013, when Hastings was killed in a high-speed automobile crash. His untimely death was mourned by many fellow journalists while also serving as fodder for conspiracy theorists who suggested that his death had been ordered by the Central Intelligence Agency, whose director, John O. Brennan, was the subject of an article Hastings was writing at the time of his death. Family members disputed the notion, stating that the accident may have been the result of high levels of stress associated with his work. In 2014, Hastings' only novel, <i>The Last Magazine</i>, received a posthumous publication.

EDUCATION

New York University

2002

Milestones

2014

His first novel, <i>The Last Magazine</i>, is published posthumously.

2010

<i>Rolling Stone</i> publishes "The Runaway General," which ends the career of General Stanley McChrystal.

Bonus Trivia

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Gained the unfiltered coverage of General McChrystal by riding on a bus to Berlin with him after flights were grounded due to a 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland.

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Hastings' book, The Operators, received largely positive reviews, save for one notably negative write-up by the Wall Street Journal, which was later revealed to have been written by a military consultant who had worked with McChrystal.

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Posthumously awarded the Norman Mailer Prize for Distinguished Journalism in 2013.

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