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McWhirter, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, is co-author with Zusha Elinson of American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). He also is the author of Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America (Henry Holt), which Booklist called in a starred review, "A riveting account of the summer that transformed American race relations.” McWhirter graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Hamilton College, where he majored in history. He earned an MS from Columbia Journalism School. He has been awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for research in Eritrea and Sudan, a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University and a MacDowell residency for nonfiction in New Hampshire.

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