Coming May 2024

Books

*Available for PRE-ORDER*

 

LOOK AWAY: A True Story of Murders, Bombings, and a Far-Right Campaign to Rid Germany of Immigrants

By Jacob Kushner

Coming May 2024 by Grand Central (Hachette); Harper Collins UK

Not long after the Berlin Wall fell, three teenagers became friends in the East German town of Jena. It was a time of excitement, but also of economic crisis: some four million East Germans found themselves out of jobs. The friends began attending far-right rallies with people who called themselves National Socialists: Nazis. Like the Hitler-led Nazis before them, they blamed minorities for their ills. From 2000 to 2011, they embarked on the most horrific string of white nationalist killings since the Holocaust. Their target: immigrants.

Look Away follows Beate Zschäpe and her two accomplices—and sometimes lovers—as they radicalized within Germany’s far-right scene, escaped into hiding, and carried out their terrorist spree. Unable to believe that the brutal killings and bombings were being carried out by white Germans, police blamed—and sometimes framed—the immigrants instead. Readers meet Gamze Kubaşık, whose family emigrated from Turkey to seek safety, only to find themselves in the terrorists’ sights. It also tracks Katharina König, an Antifa punk who would help expose the NSU and their accomplices to the world.  A masterwork of reporting and storytelling, Look Away reveals how a group of young Germans carried out a shocking spree of white supremacist violence, and how a nation and its government ignored them until it was too late.

 

Praise for Look Away

“Jacob Kushner’s Look Away is, at one level, a compelling true-crime thriller about a trio of German terrorists on the run. But it’s also a warning about the dangers of white supremacy and right-wing extremism – and about how the fear and hatred of immigrants, combined with the incompetence (or worse) of law enforcement, remains a threat around the world.”  — Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author of Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism

“Exceedingly well-written and deeply reported—a fascinating and disturbing book.”  —Peter Bergen, author of The Rise and Fall of Osama Bin Laden

“With a novelist’s skills for drama and scene, Kushner shows the dangers of complacency in the face of gathering violence. Such terrible truths, so deftly told, remind us why we should not—and cannot afford to—look away.”  —Kim CrossNYT bestselling author of In Light of All Darkness and What Stands in a Storm

“A searing and infuriating read about a nation still grappling with the ghosts of its past.”  —Joshua Hammer, author of The Falcon Thief

“Jacob Kushner’s Look Away is a damning account of a problem seen in the U.S. and around the world: how law enforcement’s obsession with informants can blind them to real threats of domestic terror.”  —Trevor Aaronson, author of The Terror Factory

“Jacob Kushner is a masterful storyteller who never loses sight of the humanity of his story’s immigrant victims and their families. An important and urgent book.”  —Julia Lee, author of Biting the Hand

“Discomfiting as it is meticulously researched, Look Away is not just a terrifying window into revived German extremism but a warning to the world—a reminder that, at the end of the day, violent racial authoritarianism knows no borders.” —Jonathan M. Katz, author of Gangsters of Capitalism

“This expertly reported story of three friends who committed unspeakable hate crimes is a cautionary tale about ignoring the lessons of history and realities of the present.”  —Seyward Darby, author of Sisters in Hate

“This fascinating book tells two stories: first, how a gang of East German thugs turned neo-Nazi ‘bomb tinkerers’ grew into a network of domestic terrorists, and second, how German authorities let them get away with murder. Jacob Kushner tells the story with cautious condemnation and intimate detail.”  —Michael Scott Moore, author of The Desert and the Sea

“Kushner’s natural, commanding voice recalls the classic nonfiction writers John Hersey and William Langewiesche, and the depth of his reporting is only exceeded by the streamlined, engrossing way he tells his story–a story about the questions that lie at the heart of politics in so many societies: what is “terror” and who are its real victims?”  —Eve Fairbanks, author of The Inheritors

“Jacob Kushner’s Look Away has the pacing and taut prose of a crime thriller while also managing to be a smart and thorough analysis of right-wing extremism in Germany.” —Alexander Stille, author of The Sullivanians

“Timely, chilling, and unforgettable, Look Away is an urgent warning that willful blindness about the present is as pernicious as failure to reckon with the past. A must-read for anyone concerned about the rise of far-right extremism.” —Becky Cooper, bestselling author of We Keep the Dead Close

 

About the author:

Jacob Kushner is a foreign correspondent who writes magazine and other longform articles from Africa, Germany, and the Caribbean. His writing has appeared in dozens of publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New Yorker, VQR, The Economist, National Geographic, The Atavist, Foreign Policy and The Guardian. He is the author of China’s Congo Plan, which was favorably reviewed in the New York Review of Books. A Fulbright-Germany scholar and Logan Nonfiction Fellow, he was a finalist for the Livingston Award in International Reporting. He regularly does speaking engagements with ambitious young, internationally-minded journalists at The Overseas Press Club, The Pulitzer Center, and several universities.

For publicity, speaking, or media inquiries: Roxanne Jones (HBG USA)

Literary and film representation: Elias Altman (Massie & McQuilkin)

Reporting from Exile

Articles, The Dial Mag

Tamerat Negera reported critically of Ethiopia’s civil war and of Abiy’s leadership, and in December 2021, Abiy’s federal police kidnapped Negera and brought him to a military black site. Accused of ‘humiliating and insulting regional and national leaders,’ of ‘instigating unrest,’ even ‘terrorizing the nation’ through his writing, Negera was never charged and spent four months in detention. After his release, in April 2022, he fled into exile.

“We journalists like narratives. We love to build and we love to destroy. Abiy gets to be labeled a Nobel, and then a war hero. That’s a universal failure: we love to build heroes, and we also like to crush them.”

Read: The Dial Mag

Kenya’s railway to nowhere

Articles, The Dial Mag

One morning in March, a Chinese-built train departed the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and headed to the middle of nowhere.

The World Bank warned that building the new SGR would cost 18 times as much as simply rehabilitating damaged or neglected sections of the old one. But Kenya’s leaders cared more about grandiosity than fiscal responsibility. Generations of Kenyans will be paying the price.

Read: The Dial Mag

Too big to jail

The Economist

Illustration Corey Brickley for The Economist

The Colombian drug lord who snitched his way to freedom

A senior member of the Medellín cartel conned American and Swiss authorities, framed the Mexican president’s brother, destroyed a private Swiss bank, and brought down the Attorney General of Switzerland.

And they let him walk free.

In fact, they paid him to do it. Law enforcement agencies across the globe are giving millions of dollars to criminal informants, creating a system where–for big fish like José Manuel Ramos–crime truly does pay.

Read: The Economist’s 1843 Magazine


A Vespucci Story, with Swiss journalist Daniel Ammann

Birthright Denied

Moment Magazine

Story and photos by Jacob Kushner

The campaign to expel the children of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic is impractical. Their labor—and that of their parents—helped propel the Dominican economy last year to grow faster than all but one other country’s in Latin America, firmly establishing it as a middle-class nation. They are a significant part of the workforce in the booming construction and tourism industries that have helped transform the Dominican Republic into the most popular travel destination in the Caribbean.

But in a chaotic democracy that has adopted 38 different constitutions over a century and a half, anti-Haitianismo is the one enduring notion that mainstream parties across the political spectrum can invoke with impunity. It is driven by the fervor of Dominican nationalists, and, in particular, by one powerful, ultra-conservative family and its allies. Together, they are waging a political, legal and media war to defend the Dominican Republic against what they believe is the nation’s gravest threat: Haitian immigrants and their children.

Read: Moment Magazine 

The Relentless Rise of Two Caribbean Lakes

National Geographic

Jacob Kushner

In Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the lakes are flooding farmland, swallowing communities and leading to deforestation, baffling climate scientists.  

Jacob Kushner

Story and photos by Jacob Kushner for National Geographic

PHOTO: Haitians face persecution across Dominican border

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Photos and Story by Jacob Kushner for NACLA.

PHOTO: U.S. Deportees to Haiti, Jailed Without Cause, Face Severe Health Risks

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Story and Photography by Jacob Kushner for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and Type Investigations.